When & Where
07 June 2018
EBF Meeting Centre, Brussels
Daniele de Gennaro
The European banking sector is committed to meeting the financing needs of all companies, including small and medium sized enterprises. SMEs are the backbone of the European economy. For example, within the Euro area, they constitute 98% of all Euro area firms, employing around three-quarters of employees and generating around 60% of value added. While banks already provide a substantive amount of financing for SMEs, they see it as their responsibility to constantly strive to improve the conditions for SME financing and to remove any obstacles.
Against this backdrop, the European Banking Federation signed an agreement a year ago in 2017 at the EBF offices, in the presence of Commissioner Dombrovskis, to provide feedback to SMEs when their loans are declined1 . Building on many national public and private sector initiatives across Europe, the agreement (the ‘High Level Principles for Banks Feedback on SME Credit Applications’) is aimed at bringing all banks to the same level in terms of the minimum feedback provided to SMEs. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the loan application process, even when not immediately successful, can become a constructive step in the business development of a company – which also serves the broader objective of the EBF to improve financial education in Europe2. The agreement, which was spearheaded by the EBF, was signed by a wide range of banking associations comprising the full spectrum of banking in Europe.
The seminar marks the 1st anniversary of this important agreement by bringing together representatives of the banking and SME sectors to review the implementation of the agreement across Europe, to learn from best practice and to identify objectives for future progress. In addition to SME lending, we will also discuss alternative sources of finance for SMEs and the specific needs of high-growth companies. This is the first of a series of seminars that will be organised on SME financing. All public and private sector guests interested in SME financing are welcome to attend.
 High-Level Principles for Banks Feedback on SME Credit Applications [LINK]
 European Platform for Financial Education [LINK]