European businesses see increased need for financing

European Central BankA recent report from the European Central Bank found that financing needs for small- and medium-sized enterprises in the euro area increased between April and September.

Euro area SMEs also reported a slight perceived deterioration in the availability of bank loans, and rejection rates for euro area SMEs applying for a loan also increased slightly from 11 percent in the previous survey six months earlier to 12 percent. The percentage of SMEs that reported barriers to financing as their main problem remained unchanged at 16 percent.

The results of the survey indicate that financing conditions for businesses across the euro area vary significantly across countries and are generally more difficult than for larger firms.

During the April to September reporting period, Germany was the only country to see improved bank loan availability. The report noted that the deterioration in loan availability was increasing in Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.

According to the report, only one-third of Greek and Dutch firms that applied for a loan received full approval, compared to approximately 80 percent of firms in Germany and Finland.

“Mainly SMEs in Spain and Italy contributed, on balance, to the reported increase in bank lending rates, whereas SMEs in Germany and France indicated on balance a decline,” the survey said.

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