Bank Financing for SMEs around the World: Drivers, Obstacles, Business Models, and Lending Practices

43 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Thorsten Beck

Thorsten Beck

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School; Tilburg University - European Banking Center, CentER

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

World Bank - Development Research Group; World Bank

Maria Soledad Martinez Peria

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: November 1, 2008

Abstract

Using data from a survey of 91 banks in 45 countries, the authors characterize bank financing to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) around the world. They find that banks perceive the SME segment to be highly profitable, but perceive macroeconomic instability in developing countries and competition in developed countries as the main obstacles. To serve SMEs banks have set up dedicated departments and decentralized the sale of products to the branches. However, loan approval, risk management, and loan recovery functions remain centralized. Compared with large firms, banks are less exposed to small enterprises, charge them higher interest rates and fees, and experience more non-performing loans from lending to them. Although there are some differences in SMEs financing across government, private, and foreign-owned banks - with the latter being more likely to engage in arms-length lending - the most significant differences are found between banks in developed and developing countries. Banks in developing countries tend to be less exposed to SMEs, provide a lower share of investment loans, and charge higher fees and interest rates. Overall, the evidence suggests that the lending environment is more important than firm size or bank ownership type in shaping bank financing to SMEs.

Keywords: Banks & Banking Reform, Access to Finance, Small and Medium Size Enterprises

Suggested Citation

Beck, Thorsten and Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli and Martinez Peria, Maria Soledad, Bank Financing for SMEs around the World: Drivers, Obstacles, Business Models, and Lending Practices (November 1, 2008). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol. , pp. -, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1312268

Thorsten Beck (Contact Author)

City University London - Sir John Cass Business School ( email )

106 Bunhill Row
London, EC1Y 8TZ
United Kingdom

Tilburg University - European Banking Center, CentER ( email )

PO Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

World Bank - Development Research Group ( email )

United States
202-473-7479 (Phone)
202-522-1155 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/ademirguckunt/

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Maria Soledad Martinez Peria

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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