• In the last five years, 900,000 companies have received financing amounting to 61,485 million euros
  • The strategy to boost long-term financing and support for business internationalization will be maintained

The Official Credit Institute (ICO) has signed the collaboration protocols with the financial entities for the implementation of the 2017 ICO Lines. The ICO is currently the reference institution in the granting of loans to SMEs. During the last five years, and especially during the most acute phases of the economic crisis in which there were credit restrictions by private entities, the agency has granted 61,485 million euros to 898,100 companies through its financing lines. During this year, the ICO will continue with its long-term financing growth strategy, strengthening internationalization lines and specializing in new products that add value to the financing and export of companies.

The signing of the collaboration protocols was attended by the Secretary of State for Economy and Business Support, Irene Garrido; the president of the ICO, Pablo Zalba; and representatives of the ten most active financial entities in the granting of ICO loans during the past year: Banco Sabadell, Bankinter, Banco Popular, Santander, Bankia, BBVA, Cajamar Caja Rural, Abanca, Ibercaja and Caja Rural de Teruel.

Over the past five years, ICO has focused its strategy on financing the internationalization of Spanish companies, both their investments and exports. The agency has provided 11,885 million euros to 144,450 companies to go abroad. The credit activity of the ICO to finance internationalization has increased from 2.1% of the total ICO lines in 2012 to 33.8% in 2016.

In 2016, the ICO granted 4,681 million euros, which allowed financing more than 81,000 operations. This figure increases to 4,953 million euros if we also consider the loan granted to CAF, the Development Bank of Latin America, within the framework of the new line launched by the ICO in 2016 to boost the internationalization of Spanish companies through mediation with international banks.

The ICO Lines stand out for their great capillarity, representing 67% loans for microenterprises with less than 10 workers. If we also consider companies with up to 50 employees (small business), the percentage rises to 91% of the credits. Most of the loans granted have been allocated to microcredits, since 54% of the formalized loans were less than 25,000 euros. By regions, the most active Autonomous Communities in ICO loans were Catalonia, followed by the Valencian Community and Andalusia.

The data of the ICO 2016 lines represent a decrease with respect to the volume of loans granted in 2015. This is due to the counter-cyclical nature of the Institute. The ICO has played a leading role in business financing during the toughest years of the crisis and increased loans granted to compensate for the difficulties companies encountered in accessing private credit. Once financial institutions have normalized their credit offer and companies have more liquidity, ICO has focused its strategy on adding value to business financing, supporting activities that support economic growth, job creation and positioning of companies abroad.

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