For the period from October 2018 to March 2019 the share of euro area SMEs reporting obstacles to obtaining a bank loan declined slightly but still remained above the corresponding figure for large enterprises. This is only one of the findings that the “Survey on the Access to Finance of Enterprises” (SAFE) indicates.
The survey, which is conducted twice a year by the ECB, provides information on the latest developments in the financial situation of enterprises, and documents trends in the need for and availability of external financing. According to the latest results, among enterprises judging bank loans relevant for their funding, 7.4% of SMEs faced obstacles to obtaining a loan, whereas the corresponding share for large enterprises is 5.8%.
Large and medium-sized companies continued to be the most positive in their assessment of the availability of external financing. In this survey round, the net percentage of firms reporting better access to external funding increased for large enterprises, widening the gap with respect to smaller firms, particularly in the case of bank loans, for which only a net 4% of micro firms reported better availability, whereas a net 20% of large companies did. The differences are somewhat smaller for trade credit (8%, compared with 14%), credit lines (4%, compared with 15%), other loans (7%, compared with 9%) and leasing and hire-purchase (11%, compared with 18%).
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Source: European Central Bank