Businesses in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania will benefit from better access to finance under an unfunded risk-sharing facility of up to €35 million provided by the EBRD to Citadele Bank, the country’s fourth largest lender in terms of loans.
Under the agreement signed in Riga today by EBRD First Vice President Jurgen Rigterink and Chairman of the Management Board of Citadele Bank Guntis Beļavskis, the EBRD will guarantee up to 50 per cent of each individual sub-loan provided by Citadele Bank to eligible clients. This is the first roll-out of the new facility in the Baltic states.
The EBRD Risk Sharing Framework (RSF) is one of the three core financing frameworks of the Bank's Small Business Initiative, a strategic programme dedicated to supporting and developing local private companies in the countries where it invests. The facility is designed to allow the EBRD to share partner banks’ exposures to local enterprises through either funded or unfunded risk participation.
EBRD First Vice President Jurgen Rigterink welcomed the agreement and said: “We share with Citadele Bank the focus on the private sector, the most vibrant sector of the local economy. We are proud to introduce our risk-sharing facility as an innovative solution to the Baltic market and are confident that it will help the businesses with access to finance.”
Guntis Beļavskis, Chairman of the Board of Citadele Bank, added: “Thanks to this collaboration between the EBRD and Citadele, Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian businesses will now have increased opportunities to attract bank financing for investment projects, in addition to increasing their current assets. This is an important step both for the development of businesses in the local market and the export market as well as for increasing the amount of investment in the Baltic states as a whole. Banks will also increase their competitiveness in the Baltic states in project financing thanks to access to the EBRD guarantee.
“This new type of collaboration with our shareholder, the EBRD, is one more step in our support of the development of local businesses and our promotion of economic growth in the Baltic states as a whole. To use this guarantee, we invite businesses to contact Citadele Bank in any of the Baltic states and for our clients’ convenience we will resolve all affairs concerning receipt of the guarantee.”
Citadele Bank is the fourth largest lender in terms of loans in Latvia. The bank’s shareholders are the EBRD and an international group of investors with global experience in the banking sector.
The Citadele Group is managed from Latvia with subsidiaries and branches in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Switzerland. Citadele provides transactions and card payments, loans, deposits, investments, asset management and leasing services, as well as a range of exclusive, unique products. In 2017, Dive, one of the leading customer service evaluation and improvement companies in central and eastern Europe, acknowledged Citadele as the bank with the best customer service in Latvia and Lithuania.
The EBRD has been investing in the Baltic states since they regained their independence in 1991. To date, total investment stands at more than €2 billion through almost 250 projects (Estonia: €626 million/85 projects; Latvia: €667 million/80 projects; and Lithuania: €793 million/84 projects).
SUBMITTED BY By Axel Reiserer