The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a loan of up to €50 million to one of Poland’s fastest growing leasing companies, BZ WBK Lease, to support investments in sustainable energy projects of local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Polish economy remains highly energy and carbon intensive. Improving energy efficiency is one effective response to this problem. Although the majority of local SMEs recognise the importance of reducing energy costs, only one third undertake energy savings. To help address this challenge, the EBRD launched the Polish Sustainable Financing Facility (PolSEFF) programme in 2010 which was later expanded to include leasing operations.
The EBRD funds for this new loan to BZ WBK Lease, provided under the PolSEFF Leasing programme, will be used to purchase sustainable energy equipment which will then be leased to eligible enterprises. BZ WBK Lease is part of Bank Zachodni WBK Group and operates in conjunction with BZ WBK Leasing.
They have been the fastest growing leasing organisation in the Polish market over the last four years, having jumped from number 6 in 2011 to number 2 in the first half of 2015, with an 8 per cent market share.
The business is focused on the SME sector, especially in the financing of machinery and equipment where they were the market leader in this asset category in the first half of 2015, with a 13 per cent market share.
Noel Edison, Director of Insurance and Financial Services at the EBRD, said: “We are very pleased to extend this new credit line to BZ WBK Lease, a long-standing partner of the EBRD. As the global economic climate remains challenging, cost reduction related to energy expenses remains critical for companies to succeed. This is especially true for the large Polish SME sector. With our facility the EBRD is able to address the needs of this vibrant and vital segment of the Polish economy.”
Tomasz Jader, Vice President of BZ WBK Lease, said: “Being an eco-conscious company, as well as one of the biggest on the leasing market, we want to support Polish SMEs with capital that promotes energy efficiency. That is why we cooperate with the ERBD and are financing environmentally-friendly machinery and equipment”.
The EBRD is one of the largest investors in Poland, with more than €7.6 billion invested in the country since the Bank’s start of operations there in 1991.
The EBRD focuses on promoting the low carbon economy in Poland, as well as enhancing the private sector’s role in the economy and assisting in the development of a sustainable financial sector and capital markets.