The EBRD is supporting the Polish leasing market by providing two multi-currency loans of €25 million each to BZ WBK Leasing and BZ WBK Finanse&Leasing. The two companies are leasing subsidiaries of BZ WBK, Poland’s third largest bank in terms of assets.
The EBRD loans will be provided in euro and złoty and come under the Bank’s response to the global financial crisis which has lead to a significant increase of the EBRD’s activities. The loans will allow the BZK leasing companies to continue providing medium- and long term lease financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Poland despite current liquidity and funding constraints.
BZ WBK Leasing and BZ WBK Finanse&Leasing are focused on the SME sector in Poland and operate mainly through the extensive BZ WBK branch network. This has allowed the company to become the fourth largest leasing business in a rapidly expanding market in recent years.
However, following the contraction of domestic and international financial markets since last September limited funding has become a major constraint for the development of new business. Leasing companies in Poland have so far not benefited from government support measures for the financial sector.
Lucyna Stanczak, EBRD Director for Poland, said “The loans will play an important role in keeping up leasing financing to SMEs outside the large cities at a time when funds are needed more than ever. This demonstrates the important role the EBRD has in mitigating the current crisis and its impact on the real economy.”
Krzysztof Kowalewski, CFO of BZ WBK Leasing and BZ WBK Finanse&Leasing said: "We are pleased with the loan agreements with the EBRD under such difficult market conditions. We will use the funds to support SMEs who regard us as reliable business partner. The cooperation with the EBRD demonstrates that the BZ WBK leasing companies are able to serve the needs of SMEs with tailor-made products.”