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Debbie Pierce

Access to finance “top concern” among SMEs in EU

Access to finance is still one of the main concerns among SMEs in the EU, new research has suggested.

About one third of the SMEs involved in the poll said that they did not manage to get the full financing that they had planned for during 2013, a survey by the European Commission and European Central Bank has revealed.

Furthermore, 15 per cent of respondents saw access to finance as a significant problem for their companies, while many said that bank financing conditions have worsened during 2013 with regards to required guarantees, collateral and interest rates.

The report found that younger and smaller firms were more likely to obtain only part of the finance they requested, or to be rejected outright.

And the highest rejection rate was among micro-companies employing fewer than ten people at 18 per cent and among SMEs which had been active for less than two years at 28 per cent.

Antonio Tajani, European Commission vice-president, commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship, said, “Since the start of the crisis, evidence has consistently shown that SMEs face large and disproportionate obstacles to accessing the finance they need to survive and thrive.

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