Global bank ING and the European Investment Bank (EIB) announced today the launch of a new sustainable finance program aimed at providing €600 million in new loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs ) in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to enable investments with a positive climate and environmental impact.
The fund will provide low-interest loans and leases to businesses in the Benelux region looking to make climate-focused investments, such as electric vehicles, sustainable production, and green buildings.
Saskia Bauters, Head of Business Banking Sales at ING Belgium, said:
“The agreement with the European Investment Bank allows us to offer our business customers a significant discount on interest rates for financing sustainable projects. This offer fits in perfectly with the rest of our sustainability strategy which aims to offer SMEs the push they need to choose the most sustainable solution.”
The fund is the eighth joint program between ING and the EIB aimed at Benelux SMEs since 2009, and the second focused on sustainability since 2019. Half of the funding will benefit ING’s corporate clients in the Netherlands, while the other half will support clients in Belgium and Luxembourg.
According to the banks, applications must meet ING’s credit conditions and align with sustainability goals, with eligibility criteria, based on the EU Taxonomy, ensuring funds are used for climate and environmental improvements.
Laurens de Vos, Director Business Banking at ING Netherlands, said:
“An ING survey earlier this year showed that Dutch companies want to accelerate their sustainable transition. As a bank, we want only to encourage them through easy access to finance. And the significantly discounted interest rate helps a great deal and will enable entrepreneurs to invest, for example, in electric vehicles, sustainable production methods and green buildings.”
Kris Peeters, Vice President EIB, added:
“By now it is clear to almost everyone that becoming more sustainable is a must. As Europe’s climate bank and also as part of the European Green Deal, the EIB aims to provide support and encouragement at both macro and micro level in order to green our societies. Thanks to this partnership with ING, we can also reach out to small and medium-sized enterprises and give them an extra incentive in the form of interest rate rebates.”