SME Financing Workshop at the EBF, Brussels 7 June
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 declined. 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 Europe. 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.
Highlights from this workshop will include a keynote address from Miriam Koreen, OECD Deputy Director and Head of the SME and Entrepreneurship Division.
9:30-10:00 – Registration
10:15-10:30 – Welcome by Burçak Inel, EBF Head of Financing Growth
10:30-10:45 – Keynote: OECD on Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs – Miriam Koreen, Deputy Director and Head of the SME and Entrepreneurship – Division
10:45-11:30 – 1st Panel: HLP for feedback on SME credit applications, a year on
- Stefan Sapundzhiev, Policy Officer, EC DG FISMA
- Gerhard Huemer, UEAPME, Director for Economic and Fiscal Affairs
- Casper Arnolds, Senior Advisor Business Services, Dutch Banking Association
- Daniel Cichocki, Principal, Commercial Finance Policy, UK Finance
Moderator: Maurice Crowley, Chairman of the EBF Business Finance Committee
11:30-11:45 – Coffee break
11:45-12:00 – Keynote: Dr. Lazaros E. Panourgias, Head EIF Affairs, European Investment Fund (EIF), European Investment Bank Group, Brussels
12:00-13:00 – 2nd Panel: Financing the entrepreneurship of tomorrow: high-growth SMEs
- Armando Melone, Policy Officer, EC DG Grow
- Ian Talbot, CEO of Irish Chamber of commerce and Eurochambres VP and Chair Committee Finance and Economy Eurochambres
- Marta Testi, Head of Elite Growth Europe, LSE
- Hendrik Hartenstein, Senior Policy Adviser, German Banking Association
Moderator: Burçak Inel, EBF Head of Financing Growth
13:00-13:15 – Conclusion by Maurice Crowley, Chairman of the EBF Business Finance Committee
13:15-14:30 – Business lunch