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Drivers and Obstacles to Banking SMEs: The Role of Competition and the Institutional Framework

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  • Augusto de la Torre
  • María Soledad Martínez Pería
  • Sergio L. Schmukler

Abstract

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are important for employment and economic activity; however, they are perceived to lack adequate financing, which hampers their growth. As a consequence, governments have implemented a number of programs to foster SME lending and attention has focused on improving the institutional environment, such that the financial system is more willing to lend to SMEs. In this paper, we directly ask banks (the main providers of SME external finance) what factors they perceive as drivers and obstacles to financing SMEs. We also study to what degree competition and the institutional framework play a role in banks’ decisions. To do so, we use a unique survey of banks in Argentina and Chile, two neighboring emerging countries with significant differences in how their institutional environments are viewed, and thus expected to shape banks’ willingness to deal with SMEs. The paper shows that, despite alleged differences in the countries’ environments regarding rules, regulations, institutions, and ease of doing business, SMEs have become a strategic segment for most banks in both countries. In particular, banks have begun to target SMEs due to the significant competition in the corporate and retail sectors. They perceive the SME market as highly profitable, large, and with good prospects. Moreover, banks are developing coping mechanisms to overcome the particular institutional obstacles present in each country and to compete for SMEs. Banks’ interest in SMEs is not based on government programs, yet policy action might help reduce the cost of providing financing, especially long-term lending.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2651.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2651

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Related research

Keywords: small and medium enterprises; bank finance; financial constraints; banking market structure; institutional factors; regulation; competition;

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References

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  1. Ayyagari, M. & Beck, T.H.L. & Demirgüç-Kunt, A., 2007. "Small and medium enterprises across the globe," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4731699, Tilburg University.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," NBER Working Papers 5879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Beck, Thorsten & Klapper, Leora F. & Mendoza, Juan Carlos, 2010. "The typology of partial credit guarantee funds around the world," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 10-25, April.
  4. Stephanou, Constantinos & Rodriguez, Camila, 2008. "Bank financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4481, The World Bank.
  5. Mirjam Schiffer & Beatrice Weder, 2001. "Firm Size and the Business Environment : Worldwide Survey Results," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13988, October.
  6. Beck, T.H.L. & Demirgüc-Kunt, A. & Laeven, L. & Maksimovic, V., 2006. "The determinants of financing obstacles," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-4295079, Tilburg University.
  7. Beck, T.H.L. & Demirgüc-Kunt, A. & Maksimovic, V., 2008. "Financing patterns around the world: Are small firms different?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3132806, Tilburg University.
  8. de la Torre, Augusto & Martínez Pería, María Soledad & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2010. "Bank involvement with SMEs: Beyond relationship lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 2280-2293, September.
  9. de la Torre, Augusto & Schmukler & Sergio L., 2004. "Coping with risk through mismatches : domestic and international financial contracts for emerging economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3212, The World Bank.
  10. de la Torre, Augusto & Gozzi, Juan Carlos & Schmukler, Sergio L., 2007. "Innovative experiences in access to finance : market friendly roles for the visible hand ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4326, The World Bank.
  11. Augusto de la Torre & María Soledad Martínez Pería & María Mercedes Politi & Sergio L. Schmukler & Victoria Vanasco, 2008. "How Do Banks Serve SMEs? Business and Risk Management Models," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12959, The World Bank.
  12. Demirgüç-Kunt, A. & Beck, T.H.L. & Honohan, P., 2008. "Finance for all?: Policies and pitfalls in expanding access," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-3508393, Tilburg University.
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Cited by:
  1. Parmendra Sharma & Neelesh Gounder, 2011. "Supply Side Obstacles to Financing the Private Sector: Empirical Evidence from a Small Island Developing State," Discussion Papers in Finance finance:201101, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
  2. Roman Angela & Rusu Valentina Diana, 2012. "The Access Of Small And Medium Size Enterprises To Banking Financing And Current Challanges: The Case Of Eu Countries," Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, Faculty of Sciences, "1 Decembrie 1918" University, Alba Iulia, vol. 2(14), pages 21.
  3. World Bank, 2010. "Scaling-Up SME Access to Financial Services," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12515, The World Bank.
  4. Michael Funke & Marc Gronwald, 2009. "A Convex Hull Approach to Counterfactual Analysis of Trade Openness and Growth," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20906, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.

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