BRUSSELS, 24 May 2016 – More than 60 policymakers, industry experts and banking stakeholders today shared their views and experiences on SME financing at a special forum at ESBG offices in Brussels. The event looked to explore the characteristics and specificities of SMEs and SME financing during the mid-day event.
ESBG Managing Director Chris De Noose opened the conference with a welcome address, followed by two panels. In his opening remarks, he called the event "an opportunity to discuss and have insights on the important aspects of the bond between SMEs and ESBG members and find the best ways to bring the main challenges to policymakers' attention."
Proportionality, securitisation and SME financing
Mr De Noose was followed a by a first panel that focused on the role of local banks in financing SMEs and how it relates to the Capital Markets Union and ways forward from a regulatory perspective. The panel explored the need for proportionality and adjustments of the legal framework, the SME supporting factor around Basel Committee reflections on credit risk in the Standardised Approach as well as touching on the role of securitisation in SMEs' financing, especially synthetic securitisation. Panel participants were: moderator Detlef Fechtner, the EU correspondent for Börsen Zeitung; Gintaras Griksas, a policy officer at the European Commission Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA); Gerhard Huemer, director for economic and fiscal policy at UEAPME – the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium Enterprises; and German Savings Banks Association (DSGV) Senior Policy Advisor Michael Engelhard.
Investing in Europe: EIB, EIF and SME development stages
The second panel tackled the role of the European Investment Fund (EIF) to foster SME financing and mainly focused on the SME Initiative as a guarantee mechanism supporting SME lending by combining national, EU and EIB Group resources as well as the role of banks and the EIF in accompanying SMEs at early stages of their development. Also moderated by Detlef Fechtner, the panel included: Christa Karis, EIF Corporate Relations Head; COSME Financial Instruments Team Leader Astrid Bartels at Directorate-General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs; Bank of Valletta EU Institutional Affairs Head Mark Scicluna; DSGV EuropaService Head Bertram Reddig. UEAPME's Gerhard Huemer also joined the group.
>> Learn more about conference on SME Financing
>> See ESBG analysis of EU, US SME financing
>> See ESBG position on SME financing