The Government Credit Guarantee Scheme

The Government Credit Guarantee Scheme is provided through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) to support viable Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who have an ability to repay loans but might otherwise be declined credit because they have:

  • Insufficient security available for the loan or
  • They operate in a sector, market or business model that is deemed higher risk

Essentially, it is an additional form of security provided to the Bank by the Government on behalf of the Customer.

The scheme is operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation (SBCI) on behalf of the Government and further details can be found here.

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    Who can apply?

    To apply for the Government Credit Guarantee Scheme you must be a viable micro, small or medium sized enterprise (SME) – as defined by the Standard EU definition [Commission Regulation 2003/361/EC]:

    •  has fewer than 250 employees
    • has a turnover of €50 million or less (or €43 million or less on their balance sheet)
    • is independent and autonomous i.e. not part of a wider group of enterprises
    • has less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies
    • is established and operating in the Republic of Ireland

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    Under Government rules customers in the following Sectors are ineligible for the scheme:

    1. Aquaculture (Fish Farming)
      Note that the Scheme is not allowed to be used when the facility would be in support of an activity that increases fishing capacity (expressed in terms of tonnage or power) or is for the purchase, construction or modernisation of fishing vessels

    2. Primary Agriculture
      Primary production in agriculture is excluded from the scope of the scheme in the light of particular restrictions under the de minimis State Aid rules and because the specific market failures identified do not apply in these sectors

    3. Banking, Finance and Associated Services
      Any activity that involves granting of finance or a financial service to clients is ineligible, such as: banking, deposit taking and building societies; companies involved in granting loans, mortgages, hire purchase or credit services; mortgage brokers that are attached to banks; venture capitalists; seed corn finance companies and stockbrokers

    4. Coal
      All activities in the coal sector are ineligible.

    5. Formal Education
      Formal education is ineligible.

    6. Insurance and Associated Services
      Companies and societies primarily engaged in transacting all types of insurance business are not eligible

    Full eligibility criteria are available here.

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    Features of the scheme:

    • Guarantees offered under the scheme are for the term of facility or seven years, whichever is the shorter.
    • The Guarantee is provided for facilities from €10,000 to €1million. The aggregate of all facilities granted to a particular qualifying/participating enterprise may not exceed €1million.
    • Premium payments are made by the Customer by direct debit to the SBCI (Operator). A signed direct debit mandate is required at the time of drawdown for the guarantee to become effective.
    • Part of the CGS participating finance agreement will count as State Aid (see below)
    • The provision of the Scheme Guarantee does not remove any liability for the credit from the Customer.
    • Normal lending criteria, terms & conditions apply

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IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT A CUSTOMER CANNOT APPLY DIRECTLY FOR A FACILITY UNDER THE SCHEME. A CREDIT APPLICATION MUST BE PROCESSED IN THE NORMAL WAY FIRST AND ASSESSED UNDER ITS OWN MERITS BEFORE ELIGIBILITY FOR THE SCHEME IS CONSIDERED.

We are available at any time to help discuss your options. Please contact your Branch, Relationship Manager or call our Direct Business Advisors on 1890 47 88 33, Mon-Fri 8am-9pm if you would like to discuss your options.