HM Treasury announced that over £700 million of affordable and easy to access funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) has been approved for nearly 3,000 small businesses across the UK, through participating national banks. At the 2008 Pre-Budget Report, the Government announced that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) could benefit from up to £4 billion of EIB finance between 2008-2011. Small businesses access the funds through intermediating national banks, which then lend the finance on a matched funds basis. In the first year the target was for UK banks to secure £1 billion of finance for SMEs from the EIB. This was achieved, with banks having now secured a total of £1.39 billion from the EIB.