Loans to SMEs

Loans to Small and Medium Enterprises is certainly one of the hot topics of the moment.


In light of the economic crisis: despite numerous support programs and joint ABI-Government measures – in addition to regional initiatives – so far adopted to reduce pressure from installments on loans and mortgages (for example with the moratorium on debitures of SMEs ) and to facilitate access to credit , the difficulties remain.

Many small companies still report the lack of collaborativeness of large credit institutions – compared to small banks, more flexible and available to open new lines of credit – the bureaucratic obstacles of Basel II , which binds banks to set strict requirements on the issue of company guarantees, and finally the difficulty in accessing appropriations .

In practice, the concrete difficulty lies in the lighting of these much-needed loans. This is why we are talking about banks increasingly reluctant to grant funding, crises, and anti-crisis funds that are not there.

The assessment of the ECB (European Central Bank), from which two significant data emerged, confirmed the current grievances and financial difficulties, highlighted by financial statements and surveys in the most diverse sectors.

The first concerns the demand for loans from Italian SMEs: strongly increasing . The second, however, concerns the availability of banking institutions , in relation to the questions: strongly decreasing .

Moving concretely, it is easy to identify the causes that prevent these companies from having easy access to finance.

At the top of the list, there are the guarantees required by the banks, but also the entity, excessively high for many entrepreneurs, of rates and costs in general of the various loans.

Few loans granted, application of terrifying spreads , equal to 9%, and still difficulties on difficulties for companies.

Yet, the possible alternatives for access to economic aid by the SMEs are numerous. From the discount of the Commercial Portfolio to the advance on invoices , passing through the immediate loans of money, there would appear to be numerous ways to obtain a loan from the lenders.

However, the difficulties are revealed by reality. First of all, the impossibility of SMEs, as we said, to meet the demands of banks, in terms of guarantees. The so-called credit crunch has emerged , which is the tightening of the measures necessary for the provision of loans, linked to the banks’ concern about the solvency of customers.

So, if at the beginning we looked carefully at factors such as the company’s business, its ability to repay the debt in the future, the various guarantees for risk mitigation (tangible assets, sureties), everything today has become more hard, just because of the credit crunch, or the infamous credit crunch.

All this turns into higher rates but also in raising the level of compulsory reserve by the companies themselves.

Everything revolves around this “close”, in short. Which justifies both the tightening of the essential criteria for access to economic aid, and the raising of the costs necessary to start financing, but also to keep it until extinction.

In short, to call it “vicious circle” would probably not be correct – because this terminology would not fall within the precise economic terminology – but the situation is not the simplest: banks tighten their measures, companies can not meet the demands of the banks themselves.

In this tunnel, however, someone tries to run for cover: the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti Bancari , in fact, announced the reduction of interest rates applied to loans, also decreasing the spreads on the 6-month Euribor of 15 basis point.