Permanent TSB in major expansion of SME business with new €1 billion loan fund to be deployed over the next three years

  • Significant scaling up of SME offering to build on the planned acquisition of Ulster Bank micro-SME and asset finance businesses
  • Announcement coincides with new €32m low-cost loan partnership with Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland for Brexit-impacted businesses
  • “Today’s announcement shows the extent of our ambition to grow our SME business significantly and to bring greater competition to the market at a time when it is needed more than ever” – CEO Eamonn Crowley

Permanent TSB is to expand its SME offering significantly with a new €1 billion SME lending fund for businesses throughout Ireland.

The new fund represents a major scaling up of the Bank’s existing SME lending activities, which the Bank has identified as a key growth area as part of its ambition to be Ireland’s best personal and small business bank.

Today’s announcement is the latest stage in Permanent TSB’s significant expansion of its SME lending programme; lending to SMEs increased significantly over the course of 2021, supporting thousands of businesses and bringing greater competition to the SME lending market.

The new lending fund, to be deployed over the next 3 years, will build on the Bank’s plan to more than triple the size of its existing SME lending business with the recently-announced acquisition of Ulster Bank’s micro-SME business and Ulster’s Lombard asset finance business for SMEs.

As part of its SME expansion, Permanent TSB is also announcing today that it will offer €32m in low-cost loans for Brexit-impacted businesses arising from a new partnership with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI).

By joining the Government’s Brexit Impact Loan Scheme, operated by the SBCI, the Bank will offer loans from €25,000 to €1.5m to Brexit-impacted businesses, over terms of up to 6 years at rates starting from 3%.

This is the second major lending partnership between Permanent TSB and the SBCI; the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme supports businesses that are affected by Brexit uncertainty and those that plan to take advantage of Brexit-related opportunities by expanding into new markets.

Permanent TSB’s first SBCI partnership, which made €50m available to SMEs under the Future Growth Loan Scheme, was fully subscribed and is almost fully drawn at this point.

Permanent TSB Chief Executive Eamonn Crowley said:

“Today’s announcement shows the extent of our ambition to grow our SME business significantly and to bring greater competition to the market at a time when it is needed more than ever.

We have the sectoral expertise, capacity and appetite to lend €1 billion to SMEs, as we work towards our ambition of becoming Ireland’s best personal and small business bank, and build on the strong momentum we have generated with our plans to acquire Ulster Bank personal and SME businesses.

Joining the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme today is an important demonstration of our commitment to customers that we are here to support them in tackling the challenges they face. As we strengthen our SME lending offering, we will help make our SME customers stronger and support them as they invest in their future.”

Speaking about Permanent TSB’s participation in the SBCI Brexit Impact Loan Scheme,

June Butler, CEO of SBCI said:

“I welcome the addition of Permanent TSB as a partner for the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme. The scheme will provide support for SMEs as they continue to deal with the challenges presented by Brexit. Permanent TSB’s participation will provide SMEs with more choice of provider and will assist them in accessing lower-cost funding for their businesses.”

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD said:

“I am pleased that Permanent TSB is the latest lender to offer the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme. SMEs are the cornerstone of our enterprise base, and we want to ensure that these businesses continue to have the support they need while navigating both Brexit and the pandemic. This scheme provides a low-cost option for financing and is part of the Government’s overall package to help businesses.”

Permanent TSB’s SME lending

Permanent TSB has made significant progress since 2020 in growing its SME lending business as part of its ambition to be Ireland's best Personal & Small Business Bank.

In addition to 2 lending partnerships with the SBCI, the Bank has engaged heavily with Digital Business Ireland, the Small Firms Association and individual Chambers of Commerce at local level to identify new supports for new and existing SME customers.

It has developed new customer offerings with market counterparties including Bibby Financial Services and Worldpay and invested in expanding and strengthening its Business Banking team to broaden its specific sectoral expertise.

Permanent TSB offers SMEs a range of term lending, working capital, overdraft, current account and deposit account products through a branch network of 76 branches.

Qualifying for loans under the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme

Loans under the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme can be used for long-term investment in each of the following

  • Machinery or Equipment
  • Premises Improvement
  • Process Innovation
  • People and/or Systems
  • Business Expansion
  • Research and Development
  • Long-term investment in tangible or intangible assets on agricultural holdings linked to primary agricultural production.

SMEs accessing these loans will benefit from lower borrowing rates and more attractive borrowing terms, as the loans will be 80% guaranteed by the SBCI, which was set up by the Irish Government to enhance access to low-cost finance for SMEs through banks and other lenders.

Applications are being accepted from today via the Permanent TSB website here.

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