The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland Bill has been published and the Government has announced its intention to enact the legislation before the end of 2014.

The Bill will provide for the establishment a company called the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI). The SBCI will lend strategically within the economy and will in particular focus on credit needs of SMEs. Other areas of the economy whose credit needs are not fully served will also be helped in time by the SBCI.

The Bill facilitates funding of the SBCI from a range of sources, initially focussing on bilateral arrangements rather than market funding but transitioning to other forms of funding at a later date. In that regard the Bill provides for lending to the SBCI from the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF), an amount of equity being provided to the SBCI from the resources of the NPRF, and for the extension of guarantees by the Minister covering certain borrowings of the SBCI.