The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE) has provided a senior loan of EUR 10 million to its long-time partner UniCredit Bank Serbia JSC. The investment will enable the bank to expand access to financing for Serbian homeowners across the country.
EFSE was initiated by KfW Development Bank with the financial support of the European Commission and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). As the first public-private partnership of its kind, EFSE draws its capital from donor agencies, international financial institutions, and private institutional investors.
One of the largest development finance funds worldwide, EFSE aims to foster economic development and prosperity in Southeast Europe and the Eastern Neighbourhood Region by investing in the success of micro and small enterprises as well as improved living conditions for private households.
As access to financial services is key to developing this segment, EFSE focuses on helping local financial sectors strengthen their ability to provide responsible financing for this target group. Alongside its investment activities through local partners, EFSE multiplies its impact through the EFSE Development Facility, which provides technical assistance, training, and other nonfinancial support to entrepreneurs and institutions.
The second-largest bank in Serbia, UniCredit Bank is also a leading provider of housing finance, with 85% of its housing clients as first-time homeowners. The bank’s extensive network of 72 branches across the country particularly allows it to serve less-developed areas with loan products tailored to lower to middle-income households. The EFSE funding will enable the bank to expand its ability to offer financing options suited to the needs of this target group.
“EFSE aims to promote prosperity by providing the means for growth and increased quality of life for those who may otherwise have difficulty accessing affordable financing. UniCredit has been a strong partner in this endeavour since 2013, helping us reach a broad base of hopeful young homeowners seeking to lay the foundations for their future”, EFSE Board Chairman Christoph Tiskens said.
„Solving the living space issue certainly represents one of the priorities of both individuals and families in Serbia. The EFSE credit line, in addition to enabling us to expand access to financing for first-time homeowners, will also support our growth in this market segment”, Radoje Radovanović, Head of UniCredit Bank’s Retail Division stated.