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Savings & retail banks: Unleashing SME financing in Europe

Savings & retail banks: Unleashing SME financing in Europe

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Event explores locally focused banks, real economy jobs, growth


>> Learn more: 10 October SME Financing in Europe event

>> Related: ESBG position on SME finance

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BRUSSELS, 10 October 2017 –  More than 70 savings and retail bankers today joined policymakers and stakeholders at ESBG offices in Brussels for a the workshop focused on SME financing in Europe.

Keynote addresses from German Savings Banks Association

The event began with a keynote address by Georg Huber, head of the EU representation for the German Savings Banks Association (DSGV), who set the tone for the event.  

State of SME financing in Europe: Insights from European Commission, OECD, EIB, ECB, academia, UEAPME

​​Mr Huber was followed by Jörn Block from University of Trier & Erasmus University Rotterdam and Helmut Krämer-Eis from European Investment Fund, the first panel discussed the state of SME financing in Europe. It considered the long-term impacts of the euro crisis and shed light on differences in SME financing across Europe. Particular focus was given to bank financing and the role of regional banks in the European small business ecosystem. The panel also discussed how a harmonised European capital market union can stimulate but also endanger SME financing in Europe.

Participants in the first panel were: Niall Bohan from the European Commission; Kris Boschmans from the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Local Development and Tourism; Annalisa Ferrando from the European Investment Bank and European Central Bank; Alexandra Moritz from Trier University (pictured, second from left); and Gerhard Huemer, representing UEAPME  the European Association of Craft and SMEs.

Image: Alexandra Moritz from Trier University​ (second from left) discusses state of SME financing in Europe


Panel on SME finance and innovation: 

Following the keynote from Oxford University's Thomas Hellmann, a second panel discussed how entrepreneurial finance in its various forms stimulates innovation in Europe. The panel covered financing instruments such as venture capital funds, crowdfunding and business angel financing. It discussed the needs of these specific financing instruments and the added value they provide to young innovative start-ups in Europe. The panel also looked to shed light on the differences in innovation finance across Europe and compare the European venture capital landscape to Asia and the United States.


The panel participants were Marcus Dejardin from the University of Namur & Université Catholique de Louvain; Ivan Marinov from the European Commission; Nadine Levratto, University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense; Sophie Manigart, Vlerick Business School & Ghent University; and Silvio Vismara from the University of Bergamo (Pictured, seated in middle). Journalist Rebecca Christie moderated both panels. 

Image: Silvio Vismara from the University of Bergamo

Why it's important for savings banks, retail banks, EU economy

Small and medium-sized enterprises contribute significantly to the European economy and are often called its backbone. SMEs play a major role in jobs creation and they generate a substantial added value to the economy. Despite their success and growth there are many challenges that SMEs face in today's fast-paced and ever-changing business world. Access to funding is often cited as one of the most frequent business barriers owners of SMEs encounter. 

Europe's savings and retail banks have a bit state in SMEs, with more than €​500 billion euros in loans on their books.​​


SME finance; European Institutions; European Supervisory Authorities (EBA-ESMA)