Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 2015: An OECD Scoreboard. OECD Report to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.

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1 Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215: An OECD Scoreboard OECD Report to G2 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors April 215

2 This analytical report is circulated under the responsibility of the OECD Secretary-General of the OECD. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official views of OECD member countries or of the G2. This report is transmitted to G2 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors at their meeting on April 215 in Washington D.C. This document and any map included herein are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area. Please cite this publication as: OECD (215), Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215: An OECD Scoreboard, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: OECD 215. Applications for permission to reproduce or translate all or part of this material should be made to:

3 Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 An OECD Scoreboard

4 Foreword Foreword More than half a decade after the onset of the global economic and financial crisis, start-ups and small firms continue to face important challenges in obtaining finance, a key ingredient to their development. As governments around the world strive to achieve growth that is sustainable and inclusive, there is a pressing need to find solutions that enable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs to fulfil their role in boosting investment, creating jobs and achieving social cohesion. With Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215, the OECD provides a solid foundation for evidence-based policies to foster SME access to finance. This fourth edition of the Scoreboard makes important progress in advancing this agenda. It provides information on debt, equity, asset-based finance and framework conditions for SME and entrepreneurship finance, complemented with a review of recent policy measures to support SME finance in 34 countries. The data show that access to finance remains problematic in many countries. Financing conditions generally improved, especially with respect to the average interest rates charged to SMEs, although they remain tight in most countries. However, despite this positive development, the total outstanding stock of SME loans shrank in a number of countries in 213, and has still not recovered to 27 levels in countries as diverse as Greece, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States. The OECD is continuing to support governments as they seek to reverse this trend. In 213 and 214, governments were particularly active in their efforts to foster SME access to finance. The provision of credit guarantees continues to be the most widely used policy instrument in this regard. In addition, many new programmes were introduced, with a noticeable shift of policy attention towards high-potential innovative firms. Indeed, many governments launched new initiatives to stimulate venture capital investments and foster innovation in SMEs through tax incentives; they have also modified existing direct lending or credit guarantee schemes to target innovative SMEs. The thematic chapter of this edition of Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 focuses on SME non-performing loans (NPLs). It highlights the detrimental effects that high and increasing NPLs have on SME lending, GDP growth and job creation. In particular, NPLs pose important risks to economic recovery in countries that experienced severe economic difficulties in recent years, such as Greece, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Serbia and Spain. The chapter underlines the difficulties of meaningful analysis of NPLs due to multiple definitions and widely different practices in the classification of loans. It emphasises the importance of making progress in harmonisation in order to better understand this phenomenon. This edition of the Scoreboard also makes significant progress in data harmonisation and the expansion of coverage to alternative finance instruments for SMEs. The OECD will continue to assist Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD 215 3

5 Foreword governments in understanding SME finance trends, and to underpin the development of appropriate policy responses. Our common goal is a financial system that serves the needs of all enterprises, and enables them to invest, grow and contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth. Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General 4 Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD 215

6 Acknowledgements Acknowledgements The development of Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 was made possible thanks to the efforts of country experts from participating OECD member and non-member countries, who provided information for the country profiles. Country Expert Team Austria Thomas Saghi Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy Belgium Mahungu Shungu Johan Westra Federal Ministry of Economy, SMEs, self-employed and energy Federal Ministry of Economy, SMEs, self-employed and energy Canada Richard Archambault Industry Canada Chile Gerardo Puelles Ministry of Economy and Small Enterprises China (People s Republic of) Wu Bao Renyong Chi Yantai Chen China Institute for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises China Institute for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises China Institute for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Colombia Nicolás Palau Adriana Rueda Perez Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Czech Republic Dagmar Vránová Ministry of Industry and Trade Denmark Kevin Reinholdt Christensen Business and Growth Ministry Estonia Karel Lember Ministry of economic affairs and communications Finland Jari Huovinen Pertti Valtonen Confederation of Finnish Industries Ministry of Employment and the Economy France Jean-Pierre Villetelle Marie-Laure Wyss Banque de France General Directorate for Competitiveness, Industry and Services Greece Timotheos Rekkas Hellenic Ministry for Development and Competitiveness Hungary Kármen Billo Ministry for National Economy Ireland Paul Mooney Department of Finance Israel Arbel Levin Nir Ben-Aharon Small and Medium Business Agency, Ministry of Economy Small and Medium Business Agency, Ministry of Economy Italy Antonio De Socio Salvatore Zecchini Bank of Italy Ministry of Economic Development Japan Ryohei Mukai Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Korea Changwoo Nam Korea Development Institute Mexico Adriana Tortajada Ministry of Economy Netherlands Irma Tems Ministry of Economic Affairs New Zealand Wayne Church Mike Shaffrey Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Norway Eirik Knutsen Statistics Norway Portugal Nuno Goncalves Office of the Secretary of State of Economy and Regional Development Russian Federation Natalia Minaeva Evgeny Tcherbakov Ministry of Economic Development Vnesheconombank Serbia Maja Gavrilovic Biljana Savic Ivana Djurovic National Bank of Serbia National Bank of Serbia National Bank of Serbia Slovak Republic Daniel Pitonak National Agency for SME Development Slovenia Tine Janzek Bank of Slovenia Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD 215 5

7 Acknowledgements Spain Víctor García-Vaquero Bank of Spain Sweden Johan Harvard Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications Switzerland Markus Willimann State Secretariat for Economic Affairs Thailand Dhidaporn Dharmasarga Bank of Thailand Turkey Ufuk Acar Utku Macit KOSGEB Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology United Kingdom Alex Turvey British Business Bank United States Giuseppe Gramigna United States Small Business Administration The design of the Scoreboard benefits from the inputs of delegates of the OECD Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship and members of its Informal Steering Group on SME and Entrepreneurship Financing, chaired by Professor Salvatore Zecchini. In particular, the contribution of Noritaka Akamatsu (Asian Development Bank), Helmut Kraemer-Eis (European Investment Fund), Michel Cottet and José Fernando Figueireido (European Association of Mutual Guarantee Societies), Gianluca Riccio (OECD Business and Industry Advisory Committee), Jeffrey Alves (International Council for Small Businesses) are acknowledged, as participants in the WSPMEE s Informal Steering Group on SME and Entrepreneurship Financing. The report was also enriched by exchange with Matthew Gamser, Head of the SME Finance Forum, a collaborative knowledge sharing platform managed by the International Finance Corporation, in the framework of the G2 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion. This report was prepared by Kris Boschmans, Policy Analyst, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development (CFE), under the supervision of Miriam Koreen (Deputy Director, CFE). Lucia Cusmano (Senior economist, CFE) and Virginia Robano (Policy Analyst, CFE) contributed to the report. Soňa Fazikova provided technical support. 6 Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD 215

8 Table of contents Table of contents Executive summary Acronyms and abbreviations... 2 Chapter 1. Reader s Guide: Indicators and methodology Indicators Data collection Government policy measures Cross-country comparability Recommendations for data improvements Chapter 2. Recent trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance Business environment and the macroeconomic context... 3 Lending to SMEs Credit conditions for SMEs... 4 Equity financing Asset-based finance Payment delays, bankruptcies and non-performing loans Government policy responses in Summing up and looking ahead Notes References Chapter 3. Non-performing loans: Insights from the scoreboard on sme finance.. 69 Defining non-performing loans... 7 Trends in NPLs over 27-13: evidence from the Scoreboard Evidence from the economic literature Non-performing loans: the case of Chile Non-performing loans: the case of Spain Conclusions Notes References Chapter 4. Country profiles of SME and entrepreneurship financing Austria Belgium Canada Chile China (People s Republic of) Colombia Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD 215 7

9 Table of contents Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Greece Hungary Ireland Israel Italy Japan Korea Mexico The Netherlands New Zealand Norway Portugal Russian Federation Serbia Slovak Republic Spain Slovenia Sweden Switzerland Thailand Turkey United Kingdom United States Annex A. Methodology for producing the national scoreboards Annex B. Standardised Table for SME Finance Data Collection Annex C. Standardised Format for reporting government policy programmes Tables 1.1. Core indicators in financing SMEs and entrepreneurs Real GDP Growth in Scoreboard countries (%), and forecast Inflation in Scoreboard countries (%), Growth of SME business loans, Share of SME loans in total business loans, Trends in SME loan shares and credit market scenarios, The share of short term SME loans as a proportion of all SME loans, Trends in SME loan rejection rates: ECB Survey on SME access to finance Seed and early stage venture capital investments, later stage venture capital investments and growth capital investments, New production in leasing: Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD 215

10 Table of contents Factoring volumes, Trends in payment delays Trends in bankruptcies Non-performing loans as a percentage of all SME loans, Government loan guarantees for SMEs, Government policy responses to improve SME access to finance, Definitions of non-performing loans by country NPLs as a percentage of loans, A break-up of NPLs in Chile Distribution of firms in Austria, Venture and growth capital investments in Austria, Government Loan Guarantees in Austria, Financing for exporting SMEs by Oesterreichische Exportfonds GmbH Risk capital initiatives, Austria Scoreboard for Austria, Definitions and sources of indicators for Austria s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Belgium, Demand for bank finance during previous 12 months in Belgium, percentage of SMEs Problems encountered when applying for a bank loan in Belgium, percentage of SMEs Reasons why some firms did not request bank finance in the previous 12 months in Belgium The take-up of non-bank financing instruments in Belgium Outstanding stock of leasing (based on the customer portfolio of the Belgian Leasing Association) and factoring turnover, Venture and growth capital in Belgium, Direct loans, government guarantees and guaranteed loans in Belgium, Scoreboard for Belgium, Definitions and sources of indicators for Belgium s scoreboard Distribution of firms in Canada, Value of disbursements in Canada, Venture and growth capital in Canada, Scoreboard for Canada, Definitions of indicators for Canada s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Chile, commercial year Rate of growth of the stock of total business loans in Chile Rate of growth of the stock of SME business loans in Chile CORFO Long-term Credit Line Programs for Risk Capital Fund Managers (up to December 213) CORFO Venture Capital Fund Programs CORFO Resolving Insolvency Indicator, Doing Business Report Ratio of non-performing SMEs business loans in Chile Scoreboard for Chile, Definitions of indicators for Chile s Scoreboard Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD 215 9

11 Table of contents 8.1. Distribution of firms in China, Scoreboard for China, Definitions of indicators for China s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Colombia, Evolution of Microcredit in Colombia, Scoreboard for Colombia, Definitions and sources of indicators for Colombia s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in the Czech Republic, Venture capital and growth capital in the Czech Republic, Operational Programme Enterprise and Innovation amount of funds paid, Guarantees issued and loans guaranteed in the Czech Republic, Scoreboard for the Czech Republic, Definitions and sources of indicators for the Czech Republic s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Denmark, Share of firms that applied for financing in Denmark, 27 and Result of loan applications by size of firm in Denmark, Venture capital and growth capital in Denmark, Investments of Dansk Vaekstkapital, Scoreboard for Denmark, Definitions and sources of indicators for Denmark s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Estonia, Venture and growth capital investment in Estonia, Leasing and factoring in Estonia, Scoreboard for Estonia, Definitions and sources of indicators for Estonia s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Finland, Venture and growth capital investment, Incidence of solvency problems in Finland, June 29 April SME loans and guarantees granted by Finnvera, SME export credit guarantees in Finland, Scoreboard for Finland, Definitions and sources of indicators for Finland s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in France, Private equity investment in France, Scoreboard for France, Definitions and sources of indicators for France s Scoreboard Distribution of operating firms in Greece, Entrepreneurship Fund in Greece, Loan guarantee programmes in Greece, Scoreboard for Greece, Definitions and sources of indicators for Greece s scoreboard Distribution of firms in Hungary, Venture capital in Hungary, Scoreboard for Hungary, Definitions and sources of indicators for Hungary s Scoreboard Distribution of operating firms in Ireland, Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD 215

12 Table of contents Venture capital raised by Irish SMEs, Bankruptcies in Ireland, Scoreboard for Ireland, Definitions and sources of indicators for Ireland s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Israel, Average interest rates in Israel according to the size of the lender, Loan fees in Israel, Credit allocation fees in Israel, Israeli VC s investments, Total VC s Investments in Israel Percentage of businesses that continued to operate in Israel, according to year of establishment Government guarantee funds for SMEs in Israel, Details of credit volumes approved and executed in Israel Scoreboard for Israel Definitions and sources of indicators for Israel s Scoreboard Definition of the business types in the various bank groups in Israel Distribution of firms in Italy, Early stage and expansion capital in Italy, Payment delays in Italy, Scoreboard for Italy, Definitions and sources of indicators for Italy s Scoreboard Number of business establishments and enterprises by industry and size in Japan (private, non-primary industry, 212) The transition of the number of SMEs and micro enterprises in Japan Scoreboard for Japan, Definitions and sources of indicators for Japan s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Korea, Venture and growth capital in Korea, Scoreboard for Korea, Definitions and sources of indicators for Korea s scoreboard Distribution of firms in Mexico, Equity financing in Mexico, Equity financing in Mexico, Seed capital programme in Mexico, Financing programme for entrepreneurs in Mexico, National credit guarantee system in Mexico, Scoreboard for Mexico, Definitions and sources of indicators for Mexico s scoreboard Distribution of firms in the Netherlands, Scoreboard for the Netherlands, Definitions and sources of indicators for the Netherlands Scoreboard Distribution of firms in New Zealand, SME requesting and obtaining finance in New Zealand, Scoreboard for New Zealand, Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD

13 Table of contents Definitions and sources of indicators for New Zealand s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Norway, SME equity financing in Norway Scoreboard for Norway, Definitions and sources of indicators for Norway s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Portugal, Equity capital invested by stage in Portugal, Scoreboard for Portugal, Definitions and sources of indicators for Portugal s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in the Russian Federation, Venture capital investment in the Russian Federation by stage, Scoreboard for the Russian Federation, Definitions and sources of indicators for the Russian Federation s scoreboard Distribution of firms in Serbia, Scoreboard for Serbia, Definitions and sources of indicators for Serbia s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in the Slovak Republic, Venture capital investments in SMEs in the Slovak Republic, by investment stage, Scoreboard for the Slovak Republic, Definitions and sources of indicators for the Slovak Republic s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Spain, Scoreboard for Spain, Definitions and sources of indicators for Spain s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Slovenia, Scoreboard for Slovenia, Definitions and sources of indicators for Slovenia s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Sweden, Capital invested by stage of development in Sweden, Scoreboard for Sweden, Definitions and sources of indicators for Sweden s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Switzerland, Private equity and Venture Capital investments in Switzerland, Scoreboard for Switzerland, Definitions and sources of indicators for Switzerland s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Thailand, Scoreboard for Thailand, Definitions and sources of indicators for Thailand s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in Turkey, Interest support programme of KOSGEB, KGF guarantees and credit volume in Turkey, International financial institutions direct loans with treasury guarantee in Turkey, Capitalisation of KOSGEB to ivci, Scoreboard for Turkey, Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD 215

14 Table of contents Definitions and sources of indicators for Turkey s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in the United Kingdom, start of Leasing and hire purchases to SMEs in the United Kingdom, Stock of asset-based financing in the United Kingdom, year-end 27-13, by turnover Venture and growth capital investment in the United Kingdom, Loans drawn and offered in the United Kingdom, Scoreboard for the United Kingdom, Definitions and sources of indicators for the United Kingdom s Scoreboard Distribution of firms in the United States, Percent change in the number of firms in the United States, Gross loan guarantees, SBA 7(a) and 54 Programs in the United States, USD Thousands Scoreboard for the United States, Definitions and sources of indicators for the United States Scoreboard A.1. Core Indicators of the OECD Scoreboard on financing SMEs and entrepreneurs A.2. Preferred definitions for core indicators A.3. Difference between national statistical and financial definitions of SMEs C.1. Information sheet on national programmes promoting SME access to finance Figures 2.1. Financial conditions indices in the Euro area, Japan and the US, Trends in outstanding SME loans Trends in outstanding SME loans Trends in new SME business loans, Growth patterns of outstanding SME loans, Trends in the interest rate spread, 27-13, and the 213 SME interest rate Trends in SME nominal interest rates and interest rate spreads: Trends in SME collateral requirements: The proportion of Euro zone SMEs reporting access to finance as their most pressing concern, April-September Loan availability in the United States, Small business lending environment, Lending attitudes in Japan, Credit standards for small firms and the demand for loans by small firms in Japan, Credit conditions in the United Kingdom, Trends in the average SME loan growth and the new production of leasing, average year-on-year increase in 211, 12 and Crowd investments in the United States and Europe SME Securitisation in the United States and Europe SME non-performing loans, Trends in SME loan growth in 213 and SME NPLs, Trends in the interest rate spread in 213 and SME NPLs over Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD

15 Table of contents 3.4. The impact of a one standard deviation increase in the average proportion of doubtful loans on the probability of loan applications granted, Spain The impact of a one standard deviation increase in the average NPL rate on the probability of receiving a bank loan, United States, Outstanding NPLs and losses on disposals on NPLs (in billions of yen) Corporate lending in Japan (in 1 million yen), Non-performing loan index for all commercial loans in Chile, Break-up of NPLs in Chile, Non-performing loans (% of credits) in Spain, all credit institutions NPL ratio by sector in Spain Growth rates of business loans to non-financial corporations in Austria, Financial structure of SMEs and large firms in Austria, 26-7 vs Interest rates for new business loans to non-financial corporations in Austria compared to the ECB interest rate for the main refinancing operations, Access to bank lending of Austrian Enterprises Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Austria Change in credit standards for SMEs in Belgium and the Euro zone, Rejection rates broken down by the size of enterprises in Belgium, Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Belgium Debt financing by source of financing in Canada, Business debt outstanding in Canada, day delinquency rate (%) and GDP in Canada, Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Canada Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Chile Entrepreneurship education and the image of entrepreneurs, percentages Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in China Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Colombia Change in credit conditions and the expected demand of credit in the Czech Republic, Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in the Czech Republic Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Denmark Impact of the financial situation on investments in Estonia, Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Estonia Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Finland Growth rates of bank loans to all firms in France, Credit to firms according to size in France, Credit conditions for SMEs in France and the Eurozone (supply side survey), Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in France Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Greece Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Hungary Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD 215

16 Table of contents Average number of payment days from Customers to SMEs in Ireland Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Ireland Lending in Italy, Credit conditions for SMEs and large firms in Italy, Ratio of new bad debts to outstanding loans in Italy, Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Italy, DI of lending attitudes of financial institutions in Japan, DI of credit standards in Japan, FY Changes in outstanding loans to SMEs in Japan Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Japan Large enterprise and SME loans in Korea, Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Korea Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Mexico Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in New Zealand Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Norway Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Portugal, Bank lending conditions, SMEs, and demand for new loans in the Russian Federation, Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in the Russian Federation Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Serbia Change in credit standards for SMEs and large firms in the Slovak Republic, Change in the demand for bank lending by SMEs and large firms in the Slovak Republic, Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in the Slovak Republic, Credit to non-financial private sector adjusted for securitisation and sale in Spain, Credit standards in Spain, Probability of default, mortgages in Spain, large firms and SMEs, Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Spain Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Slovenia Share of bank managers reporting increased loan volumes to businesses in Sweden, Share of loans to SMEs in Sweden, Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Sweden Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Switzerland Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Thailand Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in Turkey Gross lending SMEs in the United Kingdom Stock of lending to SMEs and corporations in the United Kingdom, Trends in SME and entrepreneurship finance in the United Kingdom Real gross domestic product, United States Corporate Profits, Billions of Dollars, SAAR and as a percent of GDP and Industrial Sector, After Tax Profit Margins, Selected Firm Sizes Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD

17 TABLE OF CONTENTS Total Nonfarm Payrolls in the United States: All Employees, Month Over Month Change Quarterly Net Employment Change by Firm Size in the United States, 2-213Q Small Business Loan Balances at FDIC Insured Institutions in the United States Paynet, Small Business lending Index in the United States Selected interest rates in the United States Small Business Delinquency Rates in the United States, Paynet Data Small Business Delinquency Rates, SBA Data Gross loan guarantees in the United States, SBA 7(a) and 54 Programs, USD Thousands Defi nitions and sources of indicators for the United States Scoreboard Follow OECD Publications on: OECD Alerts This book has... StatLinks2 A service that delivers Excel files from the printed page! Look for the StatLinks2at the bottom of the tables or graphs in this book. To download the matching Excel spreadsheet, just type the link into your Internet browser, starting with the prefix, or click on the link from the e-book edition. 16 FINANCING SMES AND ENTREPRENEURS 215 OECD 215

18 Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 An OECD Scoreboard OECD 215 Executive summary Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 monitors SMEs and entrepreneurs access to finance in 34 countries over the period 27-13, based on data from central banks and national statistical agencies. The Scoreboard includes indicators of debt, equity, asset-based finance and framework conditions for SME and entrepreneurship finance, complemented by demand-side information and recent developments in public and private initiatives to support SME finance. Taken together, these indicators form a comprehensive framework for policy makers and other stakeholders to evaluate the financing needs of SMEs and determine whether they are being met. The Scoreboard also constitutes a valuable tool to support the design and evaluation of policy measures, and to monitor the implications of financial reforms on access to finance and financing conditions for SMEs. In the current edition, detailed profiles are presented for Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the People s Republic of China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The key findings of this Scoreboard are: Access to finance to SMEs continues to be constrained by lacklustre macro-economic performance and continued bank deleveraging. The economic recovery was uneven in 213, and weak demand continued to weigh on the availability of internal funding for businesses. This was compounded by a decrease in both the outstanding stock of SME loans and new lending to SMEs in a majority of countries in 213. As SMEs have fewer financing alternatives available than large firms, the former are impacted more by credit market conditions. Credit conditions eased in some countries but generally remain tight, especially for SMEs. There were some encouraging signs that credit standards were loosening in 213, largely as a consequence of the unprecedented monetary easing in many parts of the world. These signs included the moderate easing of collateral requirements, the decrease of SME interest rates and the fall in the relative number of loan applications that were rejected. Nevertheless, credit conditions remained tight on average compared to the pre-crisis period, particularly for SMEs and in countries that were most affected by the financial crisis. There are signs of a potential drop in demand for SME credit. More accommodating credit conditions occurred alongside a drop in SME lending, suggesting possible weaker demand for SME credit. On the other hand, an easing of credit conditions might require some time to translate into increased SME lending. It is also possible that credit access 17

19 Executive summary and conditions have improved only for some SMEs, while others are finding it even more difficult to access credit than in the past. Payment delays were generally down, while bankruptcies showed a diverse picture in 213. In contrast with previous years, payment delays and bankruptcies were no longer on the rise in 213. While bankruptcies remained at their 212 levels on average, payment delays decreased in a majority of Scoreboard countries, suggesting an ease in cash flows constraints. Non-performing loans (NPLs) pose a risk to the economic recovery in some European countries. High levels of NPLs point to a deterioration of the overall quality of banks asset sheets and result in bank losses. This impairs the willingness of banks to lend, especially to SMEs, and could potentially lead to a new banking crisis. There was a rapid increase of SME NPLs in some European countries up to and including 213. However, the analysis of NPLs is currently hampered by the heterogeneity of definitions and differences in national practices in the classification of SME NPLs, and there is clear need for a harmonisation of data on NPLs. Non-bank finance instruments are gaining some traction, but cannot compensate for a retrenchment of bank lending. The development of alternatives to bank lending is of crucial importance given the persistence of credit constraints. These instruments, which include venture and growth capital, business angel investment, asset-based finance instruments such as leasing and factoring, mezzanine finance, and crowdfunding, are garnering increasing attention by policy makers. The uptake of some of these non-bank instruments is still relatively small, however, and offer viable finance solutions for only a small subset of SMEs, for example medium-sized firms or high-tech start-ups. More research is needed regarding the cyclical nature of non-bank finance opportunities. Indeed, recent experience suggests that that the availability of financing instruments such as venture capital and leasing dried up significantly in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Securitisation of SME assets, although promising, has only a limited impact on SME financing. A healthy, safe and high-quality securitisation market for SME assets might be able to provide alternative capital market funding and revive corporate lending by unlocking resources of the banking sector. However, despite a recent resurgence, especially in the United States, the SME securitisation market remains relatively underdeveloped in comparison to other securitisation markets and is only of limited importance to the overall access to finance of SMEs and entrepreneurs. Structural barriers, most notably a lack of credit data, the existence asymmetric information and low awareness among SMEs, must be addressed in order to strengthen the development of the SME securitisation market. Loan guarantees remain the most widely used instrument at governments disposal to ease SME access to finance. Many loan guarantees programmes were created in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, and new initiatives, such as new counterguarantee schemes, have been developed since 212. Other public instruments to enhance SME finance included direct loans, micro loans, export guarantees, and tax exemptions and deferments. Many government initiatives to further develop non-bank finance instruments were introduced in 213 and the first half of 214, in particular to foster equity investments. These measures include setting up equity funds or taking participations in existing funds, 18 Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD 215

20 Executive summary offering tax incentives to equity investments or adapting the regulatory framework. Moreover, there is a tentative shift of policies toward SMEs that are innovative and/or have high growth potential. SME finance conditions will remain challenging in Global economic growth in 214 and 215 is expected to surpass 213 levels, but political developments may cast a shadow over this recovery, and recent growth forecasts have been revised downwards. Growth and demand are not expected to recover fully, bank deleveraging will continue and credit availability will remain a constraint for SMEs in This holds especially true in Europe, where economic data has not met expectations, but concerns are growing in many emerging economies as well. This edition of the Scoreboard provides more extensive information on SME finance. Better data on SME finance conditions and SME access to finance is needed for more informed policy discussions and, ultimately, better policies for SME finance. This edition of the Scoreboard has made significant progress, by integrating more information from quantitative demand-side surveys; reporting on both stocks and flows for loan variables; including information on asset-based financing; and offering more complete information on the definitions and sources of indicators. Further steps to improve data collection are needed. Further improvements should be pursued, however. In particular, the harmonisation of the data used in the Scoreboard and the standardisation of methods used should be pursued to improve the reliability of cross-country comparisons; this is the particularly the case for non-performing loans. Other recommended advancements include the distinction between employer and nonemployer firms; increasing the granularity of the data by providing more information on the loan composition; a further breakdown of the data by firm size; a more complete and standardised overview of relevant government policies; the provision of more information on non-bank finance instruments and their uptake by SMEs; and the further exploration of the usefulness of survey data. Financing SMEs and Entrepreneurs 215 OECD

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