A lack of funding for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) remains one of the most pressing challenges facing Middle Eastern economies today. The bank that took on that challenge with the greatest success last year – to become the region’s best bank for SMEs – was Jordan’s Arab Bank.
Retail experts drive Russia’s SME banking revolution
April 05, 2018
New technology and a handful of savvy operators have transformed banking for SMEs in Russia since the start of the decade. Now some of the sector’s biggest names are squaring up for the next challenge: affordable and accessible credit.
Bangladesh's best bank for SMEs
India's best bank for SMEs
Myanmar's best bank for SMEs
Pakistan's best bank for SMEs
Sri Lanka's best bank for SMEs
Iwoca’s growth shows SME hunger for credit as banks withdraw
Lending surveys suggest small businesses are reluctant to borrow even though banks approve most of their credit applications: but the reality is very different.
Why SME banking may spawn the industry’s next big winners
Most new challengers are attacking retail, but a few ingenious startups are moving into the more fragmented and poorly served small business market. It is here that concepts of open banking and banking as a platform may first become real.
SME banking: Lessons from history
Have banks finally learned not to hold their customers in contempt?
Payments legislation not working for SMEs
Efforts to improve the speed of payments being made to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has not seen success, so technology might be used to fill the gap.
Trade Finance Survey 2018: Plugging the trade finance gap
Australia's best bank for SMEs
Japan's best bank for SMEs
Korea's best bank for SMEs
Mongolia's best bank for SMEs
Former Ecobank CEO enters African microfinance
Arnold Ekpe, a mainstay of African banking for the past three decades, has been appointed chair of financial inclusion firm Microcred’s supervisory board.
Fintech: Incumbents and disruptors all want a piece of iwoca
The pioneering fintech lender has grown fast by offering much needed working capital in hours – rather than weeks – to small business customers poorly served by the banks. But now the banks want their share of iwoca.
Two years into its small and medium-sized enterprise initiative, the bank is working hard at its focused sector offering. It is paying off.
Asia banking: Inside Ant Financial’s nest
Fintech: PrimaryBid transforms equity capital raising for small companies
Middle East: Can the crowd fund Gulf SMEs?
Beehive and Eureeca are using online crowdfunding to raise debt and equity for small businesses in the Middle East. Becoming regulated will allow them to grow rapidly. In time, they could eat the banks’ lunch, or the banks just might swallow them.
Fintech: The second wave of challenger banks
Middle East: Sawiris’ banking push reaches Europe
SME lending: Small is beautiful for banks and non-banks
Lending to small firms in Europe has traditionally been the preserve of the banks; they have the networks and relationships to originate deals for these types of clients, but non-banks now have this business firmly in their sights. And as more banks and funds start to cooperate in this space, the latter can expect to appear more frequently in transactions for Europe’s small and medium-sized enterprises.
Bangladesh's Brac Bank returns to its roots
Leveraged finance: Why the new barbarians don’t need banks
Seven-bank consortium to deliver trade finance on blockchain this year
Some of Europe’s biggest banks have joined behind KBC’s blockchain prototype to help SMEs increase trade across the continent.
Trade finance modernization turns towards blockchain
The latest bank offering is to look into how blockchain can be used to benefit small and medium-sized enterprise trade.
ECB holds Popular’s feet to the flames
Non-bank providers not gaining ground in corporate FX, says study
While non-bank providers such as hedge funds and technology companies have taken significant market share in retail FX, they have not got a foothold in corporate FX business.
Banks should look beyond the fintech threat to modernize
Banks are very concerned about how emerging fintech firms will take a slice of their business, according to Misys’ white paper 'Digitization in corporate banking – new rails for revenue growth'. SME lending was considered under threat by 68% of banks, with 61% believing supply chain finance was being pressured by the new entrants.
An extraordinary revolution is taking place in digital banking in India. Driven by the state, it is anchored on a billion-strong biometric database to finally bring financial inclusion to a country that needs it more than any other. Banks may face a binary outcome: be quick or be dead.
Emerging Europe: EBRD keeps its appetite for risk
"In most of the EBRD region, banking is still a bricks-and-mortar business," says Nick Tesseyman, the EBRD’s head of financial institutions. "You can’t reach SMEs unless you have a branch network."
How financial inclusion will change the face of banking
Financial inclusion: Fintech & fraud – microfinance faces balancing act in Africa
Bank collaboration with P2P platforms rising
Banks are beginning to work more closely with peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders, which at first looked like a threat, to find mutually beneficial ways to serve small corporate borrowers.
Nationalism: Could digital technology offer hope for a new era of financial interconnectivity?
In 2010, The World Bank estimated there were around 125 million small and medium-sized enterprises in the world. By 2013 some 25 million of these were active on Facebook. Today Facebook reports 50 million SME users. In the US, the share of exports by large multinational corporations dropped from 84% in 1977 to 50% in 2013. Among SMEs that export, the smallest – those with fewer than 50 employees – are gaining share the fastest, McKinsey finds.
Soft costs matter too: how the benefits of peer-to-peer FX stack up for smaller clients
Small corporates and not-for-profit organizations are increasingly looking at peer-to-peer FX as a way to lower costs. Euromoney speaks to four customers who have taken their business away from banks.
Tech innovation bridges growing SME inequality
The sharp divergence in availability of financing for SMEs is increasing, according to new data from Misys. With growing inequality, technology is being leveraged to try to bridge the gap.
Awards for Excellence 2016
Funding Circle to launch marketplace lending ABS in Europe
Deutsche Bank mandated for Reg-S sterling deal.
Fintech 2016: The fintech revolution gathers momentum
Fintech 2016: Finpoint connects small firms to many lenders
While credit conditions appear to be easing for medium-size borrowers, small companies face big hurdles in securing finance. Finpoint aims to help them over.
Tesco late payments: a case of old-fashioned bargaining power?
Tesco recently made headlines after being found to have deliberately delayed payments to its suppliers. In a statement released in response to the findings, Tesco said the company had undertaken a review of its practices and made changes, including creating a dedicated supplier helpline to address issues within 48 hours, and introducing 14-day payment terms for UK-based SMEs.
West Africa's BRVM aims for expansion
Bourse is working with governments and regulators and is creating an exchange specifically for small to medium-sized enterprises.
MPS securitization beats bad debt, bail-in rout
Italy’s third biggest bank, Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) sold the majority of a €1.6 billion securitized SME lease portfolio in January, just as concern over Italian SME lending was at the sharp end of a renewed bout of volatility in Europe.
Challengers give SMEs supply chain boost
Challenger banks and supply chain finance providers are creating innovative methods to get more funding into the SME market.
Turkey’s banks sweat the small stuff
SME banking has been a top priority for Turkish lenders since the country’s regulator called time on the consumer boom in late 2013. Can the segment keep its cool in the face of rising local economic and political pressures?
Fintech: Investors back new non-bank lender to SMEs
Iwoca a game changer, say banks; it will lend at scale to small companies.
Transaction services 2015: SMEs apply for credit cards
Commercial cards are moving beyond mere expenses to become another source of funding in the supply chain, especially for the middle market.
Citi's top TS banker eyes SME support
Naveed Sultan, global head of treasury and trade solutions (TTS) at Citi, explains the importance of developing SME and MME financing options, as the clout of transaction services to Citi's business strategy grows.
SME financing: AMP teaches banks how to lend to their own customers
Micro SMEs still cut off from bank finance; new way to lend against cash flow.
Does Europe need its own private placement market?
Private placements have usurped securitization as Europe’s great SME financing hope. The financial markets support EU commissioner Jonathan Hill’s Capital Markets Union initiative to promote it. But the thriving US market will be hard to compete with, let alone replicate. Which leaves two questions: Can the EU build it? And, even if it can, will issuers and investors come?
Financial technology: Snowflake unlocks markets for intangible assets
Innovation is held back by the gap between the old financial system, investing and lending primarily against hard assets, and the new knowledge economy that depends on intangible assets. A new type of bank could benefit SMEs seeking to develop innovative products. It could also give investors the chance to redeploy speculative capital more productively. But who is the driving force behind Snowflake?
KfW knowledge transfer 'crucial' to financing of peripheral SMEs
Not everyone was blown away by the targeted LTRO and ABS measures announced by Mario Draghi to stimulate lending to Europe’s real economy.
EBRD: supporting SMEs
Although the SME sector is frequently cited as a potential growth driver by bankers in emerging Europe, providing funding to smaller firms can be problematic for traditional lenders, particularly in the aftermath of recession and at a time when western European parent banks are under pressure to repair balance sheets.
UK banks to test government guarantees on SME loans
Taxpayers to take portion of unexpected losses; guarantees only for new loans to smaller SMEs.
Sepa threatens to induce SME cash-flow squeeze
European companies, and particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), could yet suffer a cash-flow squeeze from direct debits under the Single Euro Payments Area (Sepa) regulation, despite the European Commission handing companies an extra six months to comply.
SG launches financing platform to support large company supply chains
A subsidiary of French banking group Société Générale has launched a new supply chain finance platform designed to enable large companies to provide much-needed financing support to their small and medium-sized suppliers.
Supply chain finance presents an opportunity to SMEs
Supply chain finance (SCF) is typically the preserve of large companies with hundreds of suppliers, but signs are emerging this type of short-term financing is beginning to be embraced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) too.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are meant to be the machine that drives Europe’s growth-free markets to recovery. But each country’s environment for SME funding remains even more disparate than their economies.
Overview: Banks struggle to find the SME factor
Austria: bank lending dominates
France: the rise of the private placement
Germany: banks still dominate
Italy: financing gap widens
Netherlands: minority benefits
Nordics: a market apart
Portugal: stymied by stagnation
Spain: ICO fills the gap
Switzerland: no credit crunch here
UK: states woos reluctant borrowers
Domestic monoline wraps SME risk in Finland
Monoline wrap for pool of SME risk; firms pay up for five-year tenor.
ECB battles Basel rules in war for SME finance
Euromoney investigates whether the need to stimulate European SME financing will finally soften the regulatory treatment of ABS, which has now been deemed by the European Commission the vehicle through which the growth of bank lending can best be achieved.
The SME funding challenge
SME finance: Weak loan demand is the real problem, say banks
SMEs unlikely beneficiaries of bank payment obligations – analysts
Bank payment obligations (BPO) – touted as an innovative new payment instrument to transform global trade – are more likely to benefit multinational corporations, and more consultation with corporates is needed, say analysts, after the July unveiling of technical rules for the product.
SME and consumer lending: the new battleground in the Philippines
While interest rates remain relatively low, business is booming and so is consumer power. Banks hoping to take advantage of this are shifting their energy to the consumer market.
Coeuré: ECB confronts SME financing challenge
In an exclusive interview, Benoît Coeuré, member of the executive board of the European Central Bank, discusses the challenges that Europe faces in stimulating financing to small and medium-sized enterprises, including the creation of a truly pan-European and cross-border capital market in the region and how securitization can be used to re-establish funding to these firms.
Venture capitalists: Everyman as entrepreneur
Some six million businesses were created in the US in 2012. The country is experiencing a start-up boom. What impact is the wave of entrepreneurs having, and how are the angel investor and venture capital industry adapting?
SME financing: ECB aims to kill two birds with one haircut
The ECB’s recent decision to reduce haircuts on funding collateral comprising asset-backed securities should be a boon for the moribund European securitization industry, but its real target is the continent’s small and medium-sized company sector, which has struggled to secure bank support since the financial crisis.
Fundraising for US small companies gets easier
In July, the SEC voted four-to-one to implement Title II of the Jobs Act, lifting the ban on general solicitation of private offerings. That means issuers of non-public equity – namely small businesses – can now approach accredited investors directly and more easily raise capital in private markets.
Mobile POS platforms set to revolutionize banks’ SME relationships
Mobile point-of-sale technology – which facilitates contactless low-value payments – is gradually taking off in the retail space, thanks to new cost-effective platforms. Transaction bankers need to provide innovative software and sales solutions, targeted to the SME sector, in particular, analysts say.
Awards for Excellence 2013: Best SME finance house
Bank of America Merrill Lynch stands out because it provides a level of service to SMEs on an international scale comparable to that traditionally available only to large companies.
Standard & Poor’s targets Europe’s SMEs with mid-market credit product
Agency to apply corporate rating experience to smaller firms to stimulate greater investor participation.
ECB's Cœuré: Cross-border risk sharing needed to address SME credit crunch
In an exclusive interview with Euromoney, Benoît Cœuré, member of the executive board of the European Central Bank, discusses the challenges that the region faces in stimulating financing to small and medium-sized enterprises and says non-bank investors are a useful spare tyre.
SMEs shift gears as cross-border trade grows
The transaction banking demands of small and medium-sized enterprises are diverse and rapidly evolving amid technological innovation and globalization. The line is blurring between SMEs and larger corporates.
The Asian Alliance: a transaction bank’s next top model
The rapid growth of intra-regional trade in Asia is encouraging local banks to enter into an alliance to facilitate the cross-border activities of under-banked Asian medium-sized companies, writes Enrico Camerinelli of Aite Group, a financial services research firm.
Disintermediation takes root in Turkey
The country’s rapidly growing SMEs urgently need funding avenues other than those provided by the country’s banks. Some new options are beginning to emerge to solve that conundrum.
SME credit crunch: New spirit of cooperation promises accelerated supply chain financing growth
Swift and the International Chamber of Commerce's Banking Commission in recent weeks published new legal and technology standards for bank payment obligations, a payment term that allows buyers and suppliers to secure and finance international trade transactions. Will this turbo-charge supply chain financing adoption?
Supply chain finance still viewed with caution among SMEs
Supply chain finance has been identified as a powerful tool for financing SMEs but some have expressed concern it can be used as a stick with which powerful corporations can beat their vulnerable suppliers and, in other instances, an inappropriate financing tool for the corporate in question.
CRD IV trade finance amendments offer little comfort to SMEs
European and Basel forbearance on trade finance regulations will reduce, at the margin, borrowing costs for the larger corporates but for SMEs the challenge of accessing capital will remain undiminished until the banking sector is re-capitalized. Meanwhile, creative financing solutions are afoot.
SMEs: Germany's fourth pillar?
The SMEs that dominate the German economy continue to rely heavily on local relationship banks for finance. But the special circumstances of some companies and the eagerness of non-bank lenders to get into the market mean that funding through such instruments as Mittelstand-focused bonds, Schuldscheine and subordinated debt is becoming more prominent.
"If there is one lesson we have learned from recent years it is that you should not depend on the banks"
SMEs: Entrepreneurs tackle mezzanine drought head-on
It is not only bankers and asset managers figuring out new ways to finance the Mittelstand; so are the companies themselves.
Commerzbank unlocks covered bond market for SMEs
Commerzbank issued a five-year €500 million covered bond backed by SME loans at the end of February – a landmark deal for the market given the atypical structure.
Alternative lenders embrace SMEs as banks retreat
UK's retail bond market still out of reach for many SMEs
Regulators hope they can transform the retail bond market into a regular source of funding for mid-caps - and the smaller firms.
Small firms plagued by debt void
There are signs that private equity firms are looking closely at the smaller end of the market.
SMEs: UK Government poised to intervene as bank lending falls short
“Debt finance for SMEs has never been easy... From 2004 to 2007, there was a hiatus in this trend thanks to easy credit, but the market has now reverted to how it was before – but to an extreme”
The return of Europe's local markets
While the international markets are one source of funding for Europe’s corporate sector, and corporate bond issuance is at record levels, for the army of small and medium-sized companies, international markets are simply not an option at this time.
Debt capital markets: Nordic corporates turn away from banks
Small-, medium- and large-cap Nordic companies seek to diversify funding and lock in competitive pricing levels and deep local market liquidity.
Bank lending: BoE fuels mortgage, not corporate, lending
SME lending remains elusive.
Payments in RMB? No problem, says UK SMEs
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are more willing to settle payments with Chinese suppliers in RMB, says money-transfer services provider Western Union Business Solutions.
Could Axa’s Sonepar deal spark life into Europe’s SME funding market?
French insurer has big plans for a novel way of providing corporate finance.
July 2013Mobile point-of-sale technology – which facilitates contactless low-value payments – is gradually taking off in the retail space, thanks to new cost-effective platforms. Transaction bankers need to provide innovative software and sales solutions, targeted to the SME sector, in particular, analysts say. June 2013Agency to apply corporate rating experience to smaller firms to stimulate greater investor participation.The rapid growth of intra-regional trade in Asia is encouraging local banks to enter into an alliance to facilitate the cross-border activities of under-banked Asian medium-sized companies, writes Enrico Camerinelli of Aite Group, a financial services research firm. June 2013The country’s rapidly growing SMEs urgently need funding avenues other than those provided by the country’s banks. Some new options are beginning to emerge to solve that conundrum.May 2013Swift and the International Chamber of Commerce's Banking Commission in recent weeks published new legal and technology standards for bank payment obligations, a payment term that allows buyers and suppliers to secure and finance international trade transactions. Will this turbo-charge supply chain financing adoption?May 2013Supply chain finance has been identified as a powerful tool for financing SMEs but some have expressed concern it can be used as a stick with which powerful corporations can beat their vulnerable suppliers and, in other instances, an inappropriate financing tool for the corporate in question. May 2013European and Basel forbearance on trade finance regulations will reduce, at the margin, borrowing costs for the larger corporates but for SMEs the challenge of accessing capital will remain undiminished until the banking sector is re-capitalized. Meanwhile, creative financing solutions are afoot. It is not only bankers and asset managers figuring out new ways to finance the Mittelstand; so are the companies themselves.