Several sectors in Slovakia, including small and medium‑sized enterprises, energy production and transport, have suffered from limited access to finance. Financial instruments were proposed under five national Operational Programmes (OPs) for the 2014‑2020 programming period, co‑funded by the European Regional and Development Fund, Cohesion Fund or European Social Fund to improve access to finance and contribute to specific objectives set out under different policy areas. The ex‑ante assessment was organised by the Slovak Ministry of Finance in cooperation with the European Investment Bank Group. It was carried out in 2014 under the guidance of a steering group including representatives of the managing authorities of the relevant OPs. Various sources were used for information collection, such as reviews of existing documentation and literature, interviews, stakeholder consultations and workshops. This case study describes the preparation of the ex‑ante assessment in Slovakia, including how the assessment was designed to address the different Common Provisions Regulation requirements and the lessons learned from this experience.