EIB and Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar Boost Access to Finance for Spanish Rural Enterprises and Green Initiatives

EIB and Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar Boost Access to Finance for Spanish Rural Enterprises and Green Initiatives

(IN BRIEF) The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar have announced a partnership to provide €980 million in new financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps in rural areas and green projects in Spain. The EIB will purchase a covered bond worth €350 million from Grupo Cajamar, enabling the cooperative bank to offer up to €784 million in financing for SMEs and mid-caps, with a focus on those operating in rural areas and the agri-food sector. Additionally, €196 million will be allocated to support the green transition. The agreement aims to promote equitable growth and convergence between EU regions, particularly in cohesion regions with limited access to financing. The partnership also includes an advisory service through the EIB’s Green Gateway program, which will enhance Grupo Cajamar’s capabilities for assessing and financing green projects while aligning with the EU’s sustainable finance framework. The signing ceremony took place in Madrid and marks an important step in fostering sustainable and inclusive economic development in Spain.

(PRESS RELEASE) LUXEMBOURG, 8-Jun-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — The European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending arm of the European Union, and Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar have solidified their partnership through the signing of a purchase agreement for a €350 million covered bond issue. This strategic transaction will empower Cajamar, the cooperative bank, to offer up to €784 million in financing to support investments in projects led by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps. Notably, the financing will prioritize enterprises operating in rural areas, including those connected to the agri-food sector, as well as contribute up to €196 million to accelerate the green transition.

The collaboration between EIB and Grupo Cajamar holds significant potential to foster inclusive growth and convergence among EU regions. As a large portion of the beneficiaries hail from cohesion regions with lower per capita gross domestic product and limited access to financing, this operation aligns with one of the EIB’s key objectives: promoting equitable growth across the European Union.

In addition to the financing arrangement, the partnership encompasses an advisory service delivered by EIB Advisory, the advisory and consultancy department of the EU bank, through its innovative Green Gateway program. This marks the first advisory operation in Spain that has been signed by a bank in collaboration with EIB Advisory. Supported by the InvestEU Advisory Centre, the Green Gateway advisory program will enhance Grupo Cajamar’s internal capabilities and processes for evaluating, originating, financing, monitoring, and reporting on green projects. Furthermore, it will deepen the bank’s understanding of the EU’s regulatory framework for sustainable finance, encompassing the EU Taxonomy and climate risk management.

Under the Green Gateway initiative, intermediary banks associated with the EIB gain access to the Green Eligibility Checker, an online tool that enables the verification of project eligibility for EIB green financing, including the assessment of each project’s environmental impact. The guidance provided through the Green Gateway advisory will aid Grupo Cajamar in identifying investment opportunities within the framework of EIB financing, as well as support the successful implementation of other ongoing financing programs between EIB and Cajamar.

The signing ceremony took place today in Madrid, attended by EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix and Banco de Crédito Social Cooperativo-Grupo Cajamar Chairman Luis Rodríguez. This collaborative effort marks a significant milestone in advancing sustainable and inclusive economic development in Spain, particularly for SMEs, mid-caps, and rural communities.

“The EIB and Grupo Cajamar regularly join forces to give SMEs and mid-caps in rural areas easier access to finance. This new financing operation and the added value provided by our EIB Advisory department will help facilitate and accelerate access to investment for SMEs and mid-caps in rural areas and in the strategic agri-food sector,” said EIB’s Ricardo Mourinho Félix. “A significant proportion of the beneficiaries of this operation are in cohesion regions, in line with the EIB’s objective of promoting economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union, a priority to which the EIB Group directed over €4 billion in Spain in 2022”.

BCC-Grupo Cajamar Chairman Luis Rodríguez González highlighted that “this new collaboration with the EIB will make it easier for our Group to continue contributing to the progress and modernization of the agri-food sector and the social economy as a whole, giving support to small and medium-sized enterprises that generate wealth and employment in their territories. Likewise, we will contribute to give new impulse to the sustainable development of the business sector, key to economic growth and the well-being of citizens, and thereby continue to generate a positive economic, social and environmental impact in our field of activity”.

Background information

About the EIB

EIB Advisory is the part of the EIB providing advisory and technical, financial and strategic assistance to project promoters, regional and national authorities, and financial intermediaries interested in EIB financing products.

The EIB Group — formed by the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund (EIF) — reported another year of excellent results in Spain, with record support for climate action and environmental sustainability projects and €9.9 billion of total financing signed in 2022.

About the Green Gateway programme

Funded by the InvestEU Advisory Hub, the Green Gateway advisory program was established by the EIB to assist financial institutions in facilitating loans for climate change mitigation, adaptation, and environmental sustainability projects under the framework of the financing provided by the EIB.

The Green Gateway advisory program proposes two areas of intervention: a web platform, and a bilateral advisory program. The online platform offers a green eligibility check tool, the Green Checker, and an e-library with guidelines and case studies on green investment criteria. The bilateral advisory program provides capacity building, market analysis and support to banks to accelerate and scale up green lending to SMEs, mid-caps, municipalities and other entities. Currently, three financial institutions in Spain benefit from this bilateral program.

About Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar

It is a benchmark for Spanish cooperative banking and one of the ten significant financial groups and entities in Spain. Its activity is aimed at meeting the financing, savings and investment needs of business, self-employed workers, professional groups and individuals. With a total managed business volume of volume of business managed of 99,100 million euros and total assets of 62,982 million, it has 3.7 million customers and 5,226 employees who provide services through its 1,016 branches and agencies and its digital channels of Electronic Banking and App.

Media contacts:

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+34 606 66 82 62

Press Office
+352 4379 – 21000

SOURCE: European Investment Bank



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