Portuguese online bank Banco BNI Europa has said it will provide €50m funding for small business loans in Germany via the Funding Circle platform.

The bank said this was the beginning of a strategic partnership with the p2p platform, with the long-term goal to extend the partnership to other countries where Funding Circle is active.

The amount was the largest Banco BNI Europa had committed to the German SME market.

Pedro Pinto Coelho, executive chairman of Banco BNI Europa, said: “An investment in German SME – the staple of European economic stability – is a highly attractive asset class. And Funding Circle is the professional partner that convinced us with their risk assessment and credit analysis. A perfect match: both Banco BNI Europa and Funding Circle have proven that they are able to stimulate local economies through technological and financial innovation”.

Thorsten Seeger, managing director Germany, Funding Circle: “The partnership with Banco BNI Europa is an important signal for German SMEs – and a further step to establish up to date funding solutions for businesses. The investment of a renowned institutional partner such as Banco BNI Europa is a stamp of approval of our online lending platform model and our mission to facilitate access to finance for small businesses and reduce their dependency on an outdated banking system. Besides delivering attractive returns to investors, we also measure our success through our immediate contribution to stimulating the local economy.”