Access to bank financing for companies 2019Q1

Access to investment loans intensifies for VSEs

  • Demand for new cash credits was stable while demand for new investment loans slightly decreased, for SMEs as for VSEs.

  • Cash credit supply for SMEs was stable in Q1 2019, which confirms the historical high observed in Q4 2018: 88% of SMEs' requests of cash credits were fully or almost fully granted.Access to investment loans, remained high at 95%. For equipment loans more specifically, access also stayed at a high level (91%).

  • Access to cash credits for VSEs further grew for the second consecutive quarter to reach 72% of granted requests, namely a rise of 2 percentage points compared to the last quarter. Simultaneously, access to investment loans substantially improved and reached the highest level ever observed since 2014: 89% of VSEs' requests were fully or almost fully satisfied, namely a rise of 6 percentage points compared to Q4 2018. Regarding equipment loans, access also increased by 7 points at 88%.

Financing requests and grants for SMEs and VSEs*
*in %; except for the use of credit lines earlier granted
Cash credits
Investment loans
Source: Banque de France (Directorate General of Statistics) and FCGA
Scope: Enterprises with real decisional autonomy regarding requests for credit; SMEs: 10 - 249 employees; VSEs: 0 - 9 employees


The Banque de France carries out a quarterly survey on the access to bank financing of companies. 4,000 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) and 400 mid-tier companies (MTEs) have answered; as well as 2,500 very small companies (VSEs) thanks to a partnership with the
Fédération des Centres de Gestion Agréés (small firms authorised management centers federation).
Additional information
1- Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME: 10 - 249 employees)
provided by Banque de France
  • SMEs can apply for credit lines that remain available over the year, most of the time at the beginning of the year, and/or for various types of cash facilities during the year.

  • The proportion of SMEs applying for credit lines remained stable at 37%. These requests were widely granted.

  • 63% of SMEs mobilized credit lines this quarter, almost as much as in the previous quarter (62%).


  • Regarding new loans - excluding the use of available credit lines - :

  • Demand for new cash credits remained stable at 7%.

  • Cash credit supply for SMEs was identical this quarter to that of Q4 2018, which corresponds to the highest level since 2012: 88% of SMEs' requests of cash credits were fully or almost fully granted.

  • Demand for new investment loans slightly reduced at 23%, against 25% in the previous quarter.

  • Access to investment loans remained very large. 95% of SMEs' requests were fully or very substantially granted, about the same than in the previous quarter (96%).


  • Only 4% of SMEs reported a rise in the total cost of financing, as in previous quarters.

2 - Very small enterprises (VSE: 0 - 9 employees)
provided by FCGA and Banque de France
  • Demand for new financing from VSEs was stable for cash credits (7%) and changed little for investment loans (11%).

  • Access to cash credit continued to expand for the second consecutive quarter: 72% of VSEs were fully or very substantially granted their requests, after 70% and 66% in the previous quarters.

  • Access to investment loans substantially improved and peaked at the highest level ever observed since 2014: 89% of VSEs were granted their request (fully or over 75% of the requested loans), 6 percentage points higher than in the previous quarter. Concerning equipment loans specifically, the supply also raised by 7 percentage points at 88%.

3 - Mid-tier enterprises (MTE: 250 - 4 999 employees)
provided by Banque de France
  • 45% of MTEs submitted requests for credit lines, against 48% in the previous quarter. 74% of those MTEs drew down available credit lines, slightly more than in Q4 2018 (73%).

  • Demand for new cash credits decreased: 9% of MTEs requested cash credits this quarter, against 13% in the previous quarter. The credit supply rate (fully or over 75% of the requested loans) reduced to 89% this quarter, after 95% in the fourth quarter.

  • Demand for investment loans also decreased: 28% of MTEs requested financing, after 31% in the previous quarter. Almost all of these requests were satisfied: 99% of MTEs were fully or almost fully granted, 4 percentage points more than in Q4 2018. Concerning equipment loans specifically, the supply rate also increased to 91% (87% in Q4 2018).

  • MTEs access to private debt issuances should also be considered for this category of firms.



  • Next publication: July 16, 2019

More information on time series, calendar, methodology

All statistical time series published by the Banque de France can be accessed on Webstat Banque de France

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STAT INFO - 1st quarter 2019.

Quarterly survey on the access to bank financing of companies


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Access to bank financing for companies
  • Published on 04/16/2019
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Published on Tuesday, April 16, 2019