Deutsche Bank on Thursday began offering small and medium-sized companies a new loan program to help them as they combat rising energy costs.
Germany is in the midst of an energy crisis with prices soaring after Russia cut the flow of gas, and the Europe's top economy has been bracing for a possible complete halt in Russian supplies if Moscow steps up its use of gas as an economic weapon against the West while it wages war in Ukraine.
Deutsche's new "energy credit" offers loans of 250,000 euros ($251,025.00) with repayment periods of up to 180 months for companies that want to become less dependent on fossil fuels.
Germany's largest bank said companies could use the credit to invest in machinery that increases energy efficiency or convert a heating system.
"Especially now, when business models of many companies are coming under pressure due to the sharp rise in energy prices, we want to help companies cope with the inflation in energy costs," Hauke Burkhardt, the head of the corporate bank's lending business, said in an emailed statement.
Deutsche Bank markets itself as a lender that firms can turn to as they transition to a greener future, a strategy it views as key to delivering its own turnaround and boosting profits.
($1 = 0.9959 euros) (Reporting by Tom Sims and Marta Orosz Editing by Paul Carrel)