Fabian Demicoli

SMEs find it hard to obtain feedback on their loan applications


new evaluation
that was published
confirms that the smaller a firm, the larger the
likelihood that its credit application might be declined by a financial
institution. In particular, smaller companies are struggling to obtain feedback
from banks on their declined credit applications even if they have the right to
ask for it.

To help them eventually to obtain loans successfully, smaller firms
need to receive and act on feedback about areas in which their loan application
was lacking. Research results indicate that clear benefits would derive for
SMEs from obtaining such feedback: about half of SME respondents to the survey
found the feedback received by banks useful as regards obtaining future
funding. Therefore the evaluation recommends reviving the dialogue between
banks and SMEs, by increasing transparency and making efforts to improve
financial literacy in smaller companies. As small and medium sized
enterprises (SMEs) are an engine of growth in the EU economy, access to credit
is crucial both to their survival and that of our economy.

 

Recommendations of the evaluation

Research results indicate that SMEs would derive clear
benefits from obtaining feedback on their loan applications: about half of SME
respondents to a survey found the feedback received by banks useful as regards
obtaining future funding.

But it is exactly at the smaller end of the market where
there may be issues in obtaining feedback, where SMEs are often scored by the
banks using large data pools and the economics of the situation sometimes do
not support detailed and intense discussions between bank officials and SME
representatives.

To tackle the issues reported in the findings, the evaluation
recommends the revival of dialogue on transparency between banks and
representatives of SMEs, to raise awareness of enterprises as regards their
rights to obtain feedback and to develop an agreed standard of feedback to
SMEs.

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