BRUSSELS, 19 February 2016 – The European Investment Bank (EIB) and MicroBank have announced a €22.5 million agreement to provide loans to students on Master’s courses in European universities. EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and MicroBank CEO Antoni Vila Bertrán signed the finance contract.
EIB Vice-President Román Escolano stressed that “this agreement is a clear sign of the European Investment Bank’s firm commitment to supporting education in Europe, a vital element in securing the European Union’s future as a knowledge and innovation society”.
The loans will be used to finance the studies and overheads of Spanish residents studying for a Master’s in one of the countries covered by the Erasmus+ programme, or students from other countries covered by the programme on Master’s courses in Spain. They will carry favourable interest rates and repayment tenors and MicroBank will not require any collateral or guarantees. In this way the EIB is contributing to the initiative launched by the European Commission and European Investment Fund to support education in Europe by increasing students’ mobility. It is expected that over 2,000 students will benefit from these loans over the next three years.
The EIB loan is designed to provide MicroBank with part of the funds necessary to develop its Erasmus+ Master’s Loan product, created for the European Commission’s Erasmus+ programme. With this product, MicroBank expects to provide loans totalling €30 million to eligible students over the next three years.
MicroBank was set up in 2007 as a social bank to channel the microcredit activity carried on up to then by "la Caixa", an WSBI-ESBG member, through its foundation, in order to build up this work with all the rigour and sustainability of a banking organisation.