State-backed pandemic loans end with €194m paid out

The government in April 2020 launched the state-backed loan scheme to help businesses impacted by the pandemic Photo: Matic Zorman / Maison Moderne

The government in April 2020 launched the state-backed loan scheme to help businesses impacted by the pandemic Photo: Matic Zorman / Maison Moderne

Luxembourg’s government in 2020 launched a loan guarantee scheme to help businesses access funds from banks with 415 loans worth €194m paid out as the programme comes to an end.

The government budgeted up to €2.5bn to guarantee up to 85% of loans granted under the scheme. The programme was put in place in April 2020 shortly after the country went into a nationwide lockdown leaving the doors of most businesses shuttered.

“At a time when the economic outlook was the darkest, this program tangibly contributed to enabling eligible companies to continue to invest and look forward to emerging from the crisis with confidence,” finance minister Yuriko Backes (DP) said in a statement, thanking the participating financial institutions.

Eight banks--Bank of China, Banque BCP, Banque de Luxembourg, Banque Raiffeisen, BGL BNP Paribas, BIL, ING and Spuerkeess--signed up to the deal. These banks also granted €4.5bn in loan moratoriums to companies affected by the crisis.

During the first three months of the programme, 222 loans were granted worth €95.6m with the final tally at the end of December 2021--the application deadline--at 415 loans worth €194m.

The average sum was at just under €467,500 with loans ranging from €9,600 to €9m.

Around a quarter of the loans were granted to companies working in commerce and retail (26.75%) followed by the hospitality sector (19.04%) and construction (18.07%).

Fewer than 5% of the loans granted are in default, a sum of €13.8m. However, this includes loans listed as unlikely to pay or non-performing. Taking into account the state guarantee and interest, the amount currently at risk is around €11.5m, the government said in a report on Thursday.

In addition to the covid-19 loans in partnership with the government, the banks agreed loans worth more than €300m.