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Financing small and medium-size enterprises with factoring: global growth and its potential in eastern Europe


  • Bakker, Marie-Renee
  • Klapper, Leora
  • Udell, Gregory F.


Factoring is a form of asset-based finance where the credit is extended based on the value of the borrower's accounts receivable. In recent years factoring has experienced phenomenal growth and has become an important source of financing-especially short-term working capital-for small and medium-size enterprises and corporations, reaching a worldwide volume of 760 billion euro in 2003. Although the importance of factoring varies considerably around the world, it occurs in most countries and is growing especially quickly in many developing countries. The authors explore the advantages of factoring over other types of lending for firms in developing economies, and discuss the informational, legal, tax, and regulatory barriers to its growth. They also examine the role of factoring in the eight Eastern European countries that became EU members on May 1, 2004-the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia, referred to as the EU 8. The authors conclude that factoring offers key advantages over other lending products and is likely to become more important in these countries, and suggest policies to accelerate its development.

Suggested Citation

  • Bakker, Marie-Renee & Klapper, Leora & Udell, Gregory F., 2004. "Financing small and medium-size enterprises with factoring: global growth and its potential in eastern Europe," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3342, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3342

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sopranzetti, Ben J., 1998. "The economics of factoring accounts receivable," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 339-359, July.
    2. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hirofumi Uchida & Gregory F. Udell & Nobuyoshi Yamori, 2006. "SME financing and the choice of lending technology," Discussion papers 06025, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Berger, Allen N. & Udell, Gregory F., 2005. "A more complete conceptual framework for financing of small and medium enterprises," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3795, The World Bank.
    3. 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.
    4. Gregory F Udell, 2015. "SME Access to Intermediated Credit: What Do We Know and What Don't We Know?," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Angus Moore & John Simon (ed.), Small Business Conditions and Finance Reserve Bank of Australia.
    5. Diana Milena Carmona Muñoz & Jairo Alejandro Chaves Camargo, 2015. "Factoring: una alternativa de financiamiento como herramienta de apoyo para las empresas de transporte de carga terrestre en Bogotá," REVISTA FINANZAS Y POLÍTICA ECONÓMICA, UNIVERSIDAD CATOLICA DE COLOMBIA, vol. 7(1), pages 27-53, January.
    6. Kenshi Taketa & Gregory F. Udell, 2007. "Lending Channels and Financial Shocks: The Case of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Trade Credit and the Japanese Banking Crisis," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 25(2), pages 1-44, November.
    7. Ginés Hernández-Cánovas & Ana Mol-Gómez-Váquez & Johanna Koëter-Kant, 2014. "Legal and institutional determinants of factoring in SMEs: Empirical analysis across 25 European countries," Proceedings of Economics and Finance Conferences 0401481, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    8. Ralph de Haas & Ilko Naaborg, 2005. "Foreign Banks in Transition Economies: Small Business Lending and Internal Capital Markets," International Finance 0504004, EconWPA.
    9. De Haas, Ralph & Naaborg, Ilko, 2006. "Foreign banks in transition countries. To whom do they lend and how are they financed?," MPRA Paper 6320, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. repec:ris:utmsje:0203 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Udell, Gregory F., 2008. "What's in a relationship The case of commercial lending," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 93-103.


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