The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Credit Cooperatif signed a new 100 million euros credit line to support investment by small and medium-sized enterprises. This commitment follows on from a first 150 million euros programme launched by the EIB and Credit Cooperatif in 2009, which has benefited 330 SMEs. This credit line is aimed at independent companies with fewer than 250 employees mounting projects costing less than 25 million euros. Thanks to this EIB operation, they will be able to receive loans from Credit Cooperatif on particularly favourable financial terms, including a 0.40% reduction of the applicable interest rate. This new credit line forms part of the EIBs strategy of helping small European businesses in a bid to boost growth and employment. In 2011 alone, the EIB group provided loans worth some EUR 13 billion in support 120,000 in SMEs in Europe.