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SME finance

SME finance


Savings and retail banks nourish EU 'real' economy​

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>> ESBG study: EU, US Financial Systems​​  

>> High-level principles on SME feedback

>> SME financing in Europe (.pdf)​​ FR | DE | ES​

BRUSSELS, 24 January 2019 – ​ Savings banks are some of Europe's most important providers of SME finance. ESBG members are traditionally natural business partners with SMEs and follow their progress. Savings banks' local presence​ is a key factor for the close relationship with SMEs due to their clear focus on retail banking. ​ 

​​ESBG position on SME financing

​SME financing should be encouraged by all possible means and should continue to rank high in the EU agenda. Bank lending should be further stimulated in order to allow SMEs to access the finance they need for their projects. More specifically:

  • Complementarity of loan guarantees and risk-sharing facilities at EU and national levels. ESBG firmly believes that EU loan guarantee and risk-sharing facilities programmes are useful when they supplement national schemes (like structural funds that are implemented as loan, guarantee or (quasi) equity programmes by national or regional institutions) and that administrative procedures for applying to these funds should be reduced.

  • Capital markets can only complement the role of bank lending

  • Introduction of the SME Supporting Factor of 0.7619 as stipulated in Art. 501 CRR. ESBG also supports the recent compromise on the Risk Reduction Measures (RRM) package including the revised SME Supporting Factor (no upper limit and a capital reduction of 15% above €2.5 million).

  • Revision of the current EU SME definition. ESBG supports an upward adjustment of the current thresholds regarding the number of employees, revenues and balance sheet totals to reflect economic evolutions since the initial introduction of the current definition in 2003. The scope of eligibility criteria should be maintained as it is as well as the so-called grace period allowing SMEs to keep their status despite potential fluctuations regarding size and financial situations.

>> Learn more about SME financing

SME finance