The Institut Català de Finances (ICF) is Catalonia's promotional bank. Established in 1985, it is owned by the Government of Catalonia and regulated by an Act of the Catalan Parliament.
The mission of the ICF is to foster access to funding for enterprises in Catalonia —especially SMEs, Midcaps and entrepreneurs— in order to contribute to economic growth and job creation. The ICF works hand-in-hand with and complements the private financial sector, co-financing and co-investing with a view to leveraging resources for businesses.
The ICF has been identified by Banco de España and Eurostat as a financial institution legally bound by the European legislation on credit institutions. Most of the members of its governing bodies are independent experts. The ICF operates under market conditions and is funded on the markets. It is not dependent on public budgets, has financial and managerial autonomy, and does not add to public administration deficit/debt.
Since 2011, the ICF has facilitated access to finance to over 13,600 companies (97% SMEs), for a total amount of more than €4.1 billion in loans and guarantees. As far as capital investment is concerned, the ICF has invested more than €150 million through 33 equity instruments. These, together with over €950 million provided by other investors, shape a potential investor of more than €1.1 billion —50% of which has already been invested in around 300 companies. Every euro invested by the ICF in private equity has helped to mobilise another €7 from other investors, thus expanding these instruments' investment capacity.
The ICF has been a member of the European Association of Public Banks (EAPB)
since 2014, and was recently re-elected to the Board of the Association for the next two years. Through the EAPB, the ICF is working to design a public banking model for Europe, and together with regulators and supervisors, to develop standards and a framework for these institutions, with a view to contributing to economic growth in EU countries.