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Events on SME Financing, low interest rates fast approaching

Events on SME Financing, low interest rates fast approaching

​Both take place next week at ESBG office in Brussels

>> Registrations now being accepted at ESBG-WSBI website​​






​​BRUSSELS, 17 May 2016 – A conference on SME Financing and a workshop called Savings in a World without Interest will be held next week at ESBG offices in Brussels. 

May 24: SME Financing

The ESBG-organised SME Financing event scheduled for May 24 will focus on the characteristics and specific nature of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and SME financing, as well as on the important aspects of the special connection between SMEs and ESBG members. It will also look to find the best ways to bring the main challenges to the attention of policy makers.  

The conference, which will take place from 11 am to 12:30 pm that day,  will comprise two panels. The first panel will focus on the role of local banks in financing SMEs in the context of the Capital Markets Union and ways forward from a regulatory perspective. It will have the participation of European Commission DG FISMA Policy Officer Gintaras Griksas; German Savings Banks Association (DSGV) EuropaService Head Dr. Bertram Reddig, and UEAPME Economic and Fiscal Policy Director Gerhard Huemer. Panellists will discuss topics such as the need for proportionality and adjustments of the legal framework, such as credit unions, and the role of securitisation in SMEs' financing, in particular synthetic securitisation.

The second panel will tackle the role of the European Investment Fund to foster SME financing and will focus mainly on the SME Initiative as a guarantee mechanism supporting lending by combining national, EU and EIB Group resources. It will also debate the role of banks and the European Investment Fund in accompanying SMEs at early stages of their development.

Panellists scheduled to participate are: EIF Corporate Relations Head Christa Karis; Astrid Bartels, team leader at Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG Growth); and Bank of Valletta Head of EU and Institutional Affairs Mark Scicluna. Dr. Reddig and Mr. Huemer will also be back on stage for this second part. There will be time for debate during the panel sessions.  The event will be followed by a networking lunch.

May 27: Savings in a World without Interest

Interest rates have never been so low in the history of Europe before. The 27 May  workshop at ESBG offices in Brussels will look at the history of savings and retail banks and savings behaviour to provide a background on the challenges that savings and retail banks currently face. Held from from 10 am to 1 pm​, workshop participants will bring examples on the impact of fiscal and monetary policies in past periods of recession and which measures have proven to be successful to promote savings and gain economic growth and financial stability. This historical retrospective will also allow a clearer view on how the ultra-low interest rate environment can affect customer behaviour.

After a welcome by WSBI-ESBG Managing Director Chris De Noose, Senior Research Associate Garrick Hileman from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance & London School of Economics will present the "Four Origins and Measurement of Financial Repression: the British Case mid-20th Century". Andreas Hoffmann, from the University of Leipzig, Germany, will compare "Savings and Investment During the Great Depression and the Recent Global Crisis", and the UK's Sheffield University Management School Professor Josephine Maltby will cover the topic "Insurance and Investment: Savings Banks and Asset-based Welfare".

Two other panellist will bring examples from outside the eurozone. Zeliha Sayar, from Turkey's Yildiz Technical University will discuss "The role of Low Interest Rates on preferences of Savings in Turkey". Pui-Tak Lee, a research officer and honorary assistant professor at the University of Hong-Kong, will tell us about "Fishing in Troubled Water: Savings Business in China during the 1920s-1930s".

The rest of the session will be devoted to discussion among all participants. DSGV's Thorsten Wehber, who heads the association's Documentation Centre on Savings Banks History, will lead the workshop wrap-up.


>> Register here for the Conference on SME Financing

>> Register here for the workshop Savings in a World without Interest


SME finance; European Institutions; Capital Markets Union; Capital Markets