Raiffeisen Bank approved 1,000 loans worth a combined 500 million lei under the IMM Invest program for small and medium-sized businesses, the lender announced on Thursday, adding that it received more than 5,000 applications.
"The IMM Invest program means a lot of collective effort and commitment from all those involved: customers, the lending team, but the authorities as well. We learned together as applications were being initiated, assessed and promoted, and here we are, having surpassed 1,000 internally approved applications. We are confident that once the funds reach the entrepreneurs, we will all feel their concrete and positive effects, on prosperity as well. This initiative allows the resumption of investments from where they were put on hold in spring this year, the revitalization of the current activity, but also confidence in the future of the projects," said CEO of Raiffeisen Bank's SMEs sector Raluca Nicolescu.
A major partner of the National Credit Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (FNGCIMM) in the IMM Invest program, Raiffeisen Bank has received so far over 5,000 applications for loans under this facility that allows companies to take out state-guaranteed loans from banks; the total value of the guarantees provided by the Romanian government through FNGCIMM is 15 billion lei.
The approval process for Raiffeisen Bank IMM Invest loans can take from a few days to three weeks, depending on the complexity of the applicant company's business.
"Supporting Romanian producers is one of our main goals in this period, and the IMM Invest program contributes to its accomplishment. Responsibility in allocating government funds is also a priority for us. In addition, we understand the need for the companies adjust to the new economic reality and apart from the projects' feasibility, we are also looking at the added value they bring in their business field," said Radu Ciocoiu, Raiffeisen Bank Corporate Banking executive director.
The bank said that immediately after the state of emergency was declared in Romania, it got in contact with the corporate and SME clients to inquire about their situation and find together the right solutions, if necessary. Companies in the industries that were most affected by the health crisis in the short or medium term were handled as a priority. More than 3,000 SMEs have already received support by the deferment of loan installments, the extension of credit lines or other solutions tailored to their specific situation. Also, the Factory by Raiffeisen program dedicated to financing startups has been expanded to include businesses that can make a contribution to society during this period.
As of March 31, 2020, Raiffeisen Bank was servicing more than 2.1 million individual customers, approximately 93,000 SMEs and 5,700 large and medium-sized companies. With about 4,800 employees in more than 350 offices across the country, Raiffeisen Bank operates extensive networks of ATMs (770), POS (22,300) and ATMs (334) in Romania.