BPF – Banco Português de Fomento

Rua Prof. Mota Pinto 42 F - 2º andar, Sala 211
4100-353 Porto

+351 226165280
+351 226165289

The launch of a Mutual Guarantee System in Portugal aimed to create the conditions necessary to reduce the costs of financing companies, especially SMEs, as well as a better balance of their finance structure. In particular, the acquisition of guarantees, which allow them access to loans with suitable terms – easily adapted to their exploration cycles and to the types of investments these enterprises have to make in order to develop themselves.
The Mutual Guarantee System in Portugal arose from public initiative, by means of the IAPMEI, an institute that supports SMEs. In 1992, following what had already been carried out in other countries of the European Union where this financial support mechanism was already working, this organization decided to start studying the possibility of launching a pilot project in this area. The central idea was that it would be the charge of public entities to take the first step in promoting this initiative. The second step – the leadership and distribution of the project – would then be taken by the private sector, headed by the respective businessmen and enterprise associations, i.e. the ones who are interested in the benefits that such a System can render to its enterprises…

Therefore, a pilot society was created, the SPGM, whose main objective was to test the interest of this project in relation to the market. To do so, it built guarantee operations and other services aimed at SMEs, using frameworks similar to those of the future Mutual Guarantee Societies (MGSs). This society also had the mission of preparing a legal framework that would come to regulate the entire Mutual Guarantee sector in Portugal as well as the respective counterguarantee mechanism.


Year of creation
individual entities or association
Do you (your members) benefit of a public counter-guarantee that allows deponderation (capital relief)?Yes
Do your guarantees provide deponderation (capital relief) for member banks subject to capital requirements (Basel agreement)?Yes
Do you (your members) dispose of an internal rating/scoring system?Yes
Do you (your members) use..?
De minimis or GBER or Regional guidelines or Notification
De minimis
Is the activity subject to state aid regulation?Yes
Other SME support instruments offered by your organisation/your members
Subsidized loans or Mezzanine financing or Venture capital or Coaching or Mediation services
Mezzanine financing, Coaching, Mediation services
Types of guarantee products provided by your organisation/your membersLoan default guarantees, Working capital loan guarantees, Bridge financing loan guarantees, Mezzanine financing guarantees, Leasing guarantees, Project guarantees, Export guarantees, Student loan guarantees
Are you/your members financial intermediary for EU-programmes?
CIP/COSME or Structural funds or Progress or RSI/RSFF Horizon 2020
CIP/COSME, Structural funds, Progress and RSI/RSFF Horizion 2020
Do you benefit from a counter-guarantee at local, regional or national level?
Local level or Regional level or National level
Local, Regional and National level - Fundo de Contragarantia Mútua
Type of scheme
guarantee or counter-guarantee
Mutual Guarantee Association
Product typology
guarantee or counter-guarantee or co-guarantee
Profit / Non-profit oriented
dividends to public shareholders are not considered as profit orientation
Profit oriented
Supervision statute
i.e. mono-product banking licenses, financial intermediary statute, non-supervised. For associations, please state statute of members
Size of businesses supported
i.e. large companies, SMEs, micro-enterprises, independent/self-employed
SMEs, Micro-enterprises, Independent/Self-employed, Unemployed, university and post-graduation students
Sectorial focus
i.e. agriculture, industry, crafts, retail, liberal professions, cooperatives, etc.
Not specified
Geographic coverage
i.e. local, regional, national
Structure / Network
i.e. central scheme with regional offices, central scheme only, association network
MGS back office managed by SPGM (functions as a "holding" of the Portuguese Guarantee Scheme) + Independent MGS + Public Counter Guarantee (managed by SPGM)
Legal form
of members of an association: i.e. fund, development bank, development agency, cooperative or mutual societies, bank, foundation, association, limited company, etc.
Mutual societies
Legal form
of single guarantee entity or association: i.e. fund, development bank, development agency, cooperative or mutual societies, bank, foundation, association, limited company, etc.
Mutual societies
Shareholder structure
Private / Public (in %)
Private 19%, Public 81%
i.e. fully mutual, funded by SMEs, banking associations, fully public, fully private, private-public, mixed models
Type of organization
National Promotional Bank (NPB), National Promotional Institution (NPI), Private, Mutual, Mixed


Banco Português de Fomento
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