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Access to bank financing for companies 2018Q4

Published on 01/18/2019
SMEs and VSEs gained access to cash credits more easily

  • Demand for new credits was stable for SMEs as for VSEs. Anticipating a bank refusal was rare: less than 2% of entrepreneurs censored themselves.

  • Cash credit supply for SMEs grew significantly: 88% of SMEs' requests of cash credits were fully or almost fully granted, against 84% in previous quarter. Access to investment loans, even larger, raised by 2 points at 97%. For equipment loans more specifically, access also stayed at a high level (90%).

  • After decreasing in the third quarter, access to cash credits for VSEs expanded again: 70% of VSEs were granted their requests. Access to investment loans remained high but decreased compared to previous quarters: 82% of VSEs requests were fully or almost fully satisfied, against 85% in previous quarter.

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

  • Regarding new loans - excluding the use of available credit lines - :
  • Demand for new cash credits was almost stable (7% against 6% in the previous quarter).
  • Cash credit supply for SMEs increased this quarter thus reaching a high level: 88% of SMEs' requests of cash credits were fully or almost fully granted, against 84% in the third quarter.
  • Demand for new investment loans related to 24% of SMEs (23% in the previous quarter).
  • Access to investment loans remained very large. 97% of SMEs were fully or very substantially granted, slightly more than in the three previous quarters (95%).

  • Only 4% of SMEs reported a rise in the total cost of financing.
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 expanded again after falling in the third quarter: 70% of VSEs were fully or very substantially granted their requests, against 66% in the previous quarter.

  • Access to investment loans , still high, reduced nonetheless: 82% of VSEs were granted their request (fully or over 75% of the requested loans), against 85% in the previous quarter. Concerning equipment loans specifically, the supply rate remained flat at 81%.
3 - Mid-tier enterprises (MTE: 250 - 4 999 employees)
provided by Banque de France
  • 48% of MTEs submitted requests for credit lines. 74% of those MTEs drew down available credit lines, against 66% in the third quarter.

  • Demand for new cash credits raised slightly: 13% of MTEs requested cash credits this quarter, after 11% in the previous quarter. The credit supply rate (fully or over 75% of the requested loans) sharply increased to 97% this quarter, against 91% in the third quarter.

  • Demand for investment loans also expanded: 31% of MTEs requested financing, against 28% in the previous quarter. 95% of MTEs were fully or almost fully granted. Concerning equipment loans specifically, the supply rate went down to 87% (91% in Q3).

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



  • Next publication: April 15, 2019
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STAT INFO - 4th quarter 2018

Quarterly survey on the access to bank financing of companies


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Access to bank financing for companies
  • Published on 01/18/2019
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Published on Friday, January 18, 2019