BANKING

Shortfall in credit to SMEs

shortfall-in-credit-to-smes

The funding deficit of small and medium-sized enterprises in Greece is more than three times as high as that in the eurozone, coming to 14% against 4% in the bloc, according to Bank of Greece data.

The Greek shortfall actually expanded over the period of the pandemic, despite the considerable financing of SMEs in 2020 and early 2021 via the programs of the Hellenic Development Bank supporting the expansion of credit from banks, combined with the direct funding from the state such as the Deposit To Be Returned.

The latest data from the SAFE survey, dating from April 2020 to March 2021, reveal that the deficit in SME funding may be lower than in the years just after the financial crisis of the 2010s, but is further above the average of the eurozone.

One of the reasons for that is the increase in funding needs the lockdowns created in the economy, leading, according to the survey, to an increase in the SME needs for bank loans by 33%-38% during that period on an annual basis, as turnover slumped and working capital requirements jumped. That led almost a third (31%) of SMEs to ask banks for credit.