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Finance Access of SMEs: What Role for the ECB?

  • Ansgar Belke

Small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) of southern euro-area economies (e.g. Italy, Spain) pay significantly higher borrowing rates than their peers of the core (e.g. Germany, France) and this divergence is widening. It is argued that severe market failures prevent SMEs in southern euro area countries from access to key inputs, in particular access to finance. This paper makes an assessment of feasible options to improve finance access of SMEs, available to EU institutions as well as to the ECB in the context of its price stability mandate. Because of non-negligible moral hazard issues, the paper is sceptical about a stronger involvement of the ECB in the (indirect) financing of SMEs through the securitisation of banks`loans or their use as collateral for monetary policy operations. The paper concludes with some proposals for extending finance access of SMEs, including through mutual guarantee institutions along the lines recently pursued by the European Investment Bank.

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File URL: http://www.rome-net.org/RePEc/rmn/wpaper/rome-wp-2013-10.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Paper provided by ROME Network in its series ROME Working Papers with number 201310.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rmn:wpaper:201310
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.rome-net.org

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  1. Columba, Francesco & Gambacorta, Leonardo & Mistrulli, Paolo Emilio, 2010. "Mutual guarantee institutions and small business finance," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 45-54, April.
  2. Petersen, Mitchell A & Rajan, Raghuram G, 1994. " The Benefits of Lending Relationships: Evidence from Small Business Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-37, March.
  3. Francesca Bartoli & Giovanni Ferri & Pierluigi Murro & Zeno Rotondi, 2011. "Bank-firm relations and the role of Mutual Guarantee Institutions during the crisis," series 0034, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Metodi Matematici - Università di Bari, revised Jan 2011.
  4. Schneider, Cedric & Veugelers, Reinhilde, 2008. "On Young Innovative Companies: Why they matter and how (not) to policy support them," Working Papers 04-2008, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  5. Edward I. Altman & Gabriele Sabato, 2007. "Modelling Credit Risk for SMEs: Evidence from the U.S. Market," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 43(3), pages 332-357.
  6. Belke, Ansgar & Fehn, Rainer & Foster, Neil, 2001. "Venture capital investment and labor market performance: a panel data analysis," Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Beiträge 50, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Lehrstuhl für Volkswirtschaftslehre, insbes. Wirtschaftsordnung und Sozialpolitik.
  7. Colombo, Massimo G. & Delmastro, Marco, 2002. "How effective are technology incubators?: Evidence from Italy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1103-1122, September.
  8. Berger, Allen N. & Udell, Gregory F., 2006. "A more complete conceptual framework for SME finance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2945-2966, November.
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