Banks lend a record amount to companies; more complicated access for SMEs

While banks lent a record amount to businesses in the first quarter – € 142.1 billion, according to the Febelfin sector federation – SMEs remain the poorest with regard to access to credit, points out the Union of the Middle Classes (UCM).

According to the latter, access to credit remains complicated for SMEs, with 66.8% of the 505 entrepreneurs interviewed in the course of its survey estimating that the situation has deteriorated compared to 5 years ago. “However, the perception is less negative than in the 2015 survey and the credit refusal rate is in very slight decline (23.9 to 23.6%),” said the UCM in a statement.

Febelfin also published its quarterly figures on corporate credit on Friday. It shows that outstanding loans to companies reached 142.1 billion euros at the end of March. “This historic record is proof that banks continue to give credit to entrepreneurs who are able to present a well-prepared credit file”, the federation said.

The high credit outstanding is also reflected for credit applications. “Growth in both numbers and in the amount of 6.9% and 8.2%, in the first quarter of 2017, is significantly higher than in the corresponding quarter of 2016”, continues Febelfin, acknowledging however that the refusal rate “increased slightly” compared to the first quarters of previous years.

“It is important that entrepreneurs present strong and well-prepared credit reports, even when the economic situation is favorable as it is today. In this way they can maximise their chances of success” concludes Luc Vansteenkiste, president of the platform ‘Financing of companies’, quoted by Febelfin.

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