J.L.M. Campuzano (Spanish Banking Association) | A recent report by Eurostat revealed that SMEs in Europe generate half of intra-European trade. These companies provide up to 249 jobs each and drive the economy. According to figures from the Spanish Confederation of SMEs, they provide jobs for 71% of social security contributors. And they have generated 66.4% of new affiliations over the last year.
SMEs are key to growth in Spain, which explains to a large extent the current significant economic momentum.
SMEs generally don’t have access to wholesale financing. Bank financing is crucial for their development. And the CEPYME itself has acknowledged in its latest quarterly bulletin the extent to which the Spanish lenders are getting involved in financing for the SMEs. And financial conditions are very favourable.
According to figures from the Bank of Spain, the Spanish banks increased the number of new loans to these companies by 8.7% in September, the latest data available.
Behind this figure, there was a 3.34% rise in new loans up to 250,000 euros, an increase of 14.72% in the case of amounts between 250,000 and 1 million euros. In the case of amounts over 1 million euros, there was a 3.25% rise in new bank lending.
It’s important to highlight the lower contribution from larger-sized loans, from a historic point of view. This is explained by the fact that the big companies have diversified their financing precisely towards the wholesale market. Financial conditions in that market have been affected by some of the extraordinary monetary policy measures implemented by the ECB.
The current conditions of bank financing for SMEs are clearly favourable. Both from a historic point of view, as well as in comparison with the rest of Europe.
It’s true that the outstanding balance of bank credit continues to decline, particularly in the case of mortgages given the continual decrease in household debt.
But it’s only a question of time before the outstanding balance of bank loans will begin to rise. And the dynamic trend in new lending, especially to SMEs, will have a lot to do with this.