News Column

SMEs Welcome ECB Efforts to Support SME Lending

June 5, 2014



BRUSSELS, June 5 -- The UEAPME issued the following news release:

Today's ECB decision to take extraordinary measures to kick-start SME lending in the Euro zone was welcomed by UEAPME, the European Crafts and SME organisation. Tight lending conditions in many parts of the Euro zone are one of the most important barriers to a more pronounced recovery of Europe's economy. So far, neither the banking supervisors nor new regulations implemented at European or national level have been able to improve the situation as regards access to lending for SMEs in Europe. Additionally, public support measures like loan guarantees have not been sufficient to allow SMEs to invest, to grow and to create new jobs.

"Just lowering interest rates, even to negative levels for deposits, would not have made much difference as regards the willingness of banks to lend to the millions of small companies asking for loans and credits", argued Gerhard Huemer, UEAPME Director for Economic Policy. Therefore, UEAPME welcomes today's extraordinary measures taken by the ECB to support SME lending. Providing additional incentives for lending to real economy by targeted LTROs and increasing the risk taking capacity of banks by purchasing loan portfolios from banks (Asset Back Securitisation), have the potential to improve the situation for SMEs significantly.

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