European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has extended a credit facility of EUR50m to Bank BGZ for on-lending to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) operating in rural areas of Poland.

A subsidiary of Rabobank, Bank BGZ has a country-wide network of branches and is focusing particularly on financing rural entrepreneurs. The proceeds of the EBRD loan is expected to enable Bank BGZ to further expand its MSME lending portfolio, helping to address the financing constraints faced by small businesses in rural areas.

In 2006 Bank BGZ received a EUR15m loan under the EU/EBRD SME Finance Facility, aggregating a total of over EUR42m in financing to rural MSMEs and farmers.

Jean-Marc Peterschmitt, director for financial institutions at EBRD, said: “This project builds on our successful relationship with Bank BGZ. The funds provided by the EBRD will contribute to the development of regions in Poland, which is important for the overall growth of the economy.”

Jacek Bartkiewicz, president of the management board of Bank BGZ, said: “Granting a loan to Bank BGZ will have a positive influence on the increase of our lending possibility and provide financial support to the businesses of our present and potential clients. We hope that these funds will allow for strengthening our position in the MSME sector.”