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Recycling firms could get £650m from European Investment Bank

Small waste and recycling companies could benefit from a £650 million pot from the European Investment Bank (EIB), the lending bank of Europe, to help beat the credit crunch this year.

At a time where small businesses are falling prey to the economic downturn, the EIB signed three new loans for small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) before Christmas totalling £650m. Three banks, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Barclays Bank and the Bank of Scotland (HBOS), will act as financial intermediaries for the EIB funds, passing them onto SMEs with projects which further European Union policy objectives.

EIG UK vice president responsible for lending activities said: We will increase lending by over €15 billion almost 30% - in both 2009 and 2010 to help address the credit crunch. Loans for

SMEs will form an integral part of our extended offering.

We have signed three new loans to RBS, Barclays and HBOS, taking total EIB support for UK SMEs made available under the new scheme to £900m. We are hopeful that our increasingly rich relationships with British banks will lead to similar success in future.

The EIB has lent more than £13.7 billion to support key investment in the UK economy from 2003 to 2007. In 2007, the EIB allocated £3.1 billion for UK projects, ranging from investment helping UK regional development, to protecting the environment.

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