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Access to bank financing for companies 2017Q4

Published on 01/18/2018
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 2,000 very small companies (VSEs) thanks to a partnership with the Fédération des Centres de Gestion Agréés (small firms authorised management centers federation).
Access to bank financing improved, except cash credits for VSEs
  • Demand for new credits was stable. For SMEs as for VSEs, in case of no request, the main explanation was the lack of credit needs, irrespective of the type of loan.
  • Cash credit supply for SMEs remained overall easy and even increased compared to the third quarter. 84% of SMEs' requests of cash credits were fully or almost fully granted (versus 80% over the third quarter). Access to investment loans remained higher: 96% of SMEs were fully or almost fully served. For equipment loans only, access stayed also at a high level (91%).
  • Access to cash credits for VSEs decreased slightly (65% after 67%), without departing from the previous quarters average. Access to investment loans remained larger: 85% of VSEs were granted their request (fully or over 75%).
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
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 barely changed (39% after 37%). These requests were widely granted.
  • 61% of SMEs mobilized credit lines this quarter, as much as in the previous quarter.

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



  • Demand for new cash credits was nearly stable: 7% of SMEs requested a credit, after 6% during the third quarter.



  • The cash credit supply remained overall easy. It even increased: 84% of SMEs were fully or almost fully granted, versus 80% over the previous quarter.
  • Demand for new investment loans stood at 24%, after 22% in Q3.





  • Access to investment loans remained very high. 96% of SMEs were fully or very substantially granted, after 94% in the previous quarter.

  • Only 3% 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 nearly stable, for cash credits (6% after 7%) and for investment loans (11%).
  • Access to cash credit decreased slightly: 65% of VSEs were fully or substantially granted, after 67% in Q3.

  • Access to investment loans remained larger: 85% of VSEs were granted their request (fully of over 75% of the requested loans), versus 84% in Q3.

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, after 71% in the third quarter.
  • Demand for new cash credits was stable, at 10% of MTEs. The credit supply rate remained high: 89% were fully or almost fully obtained (92% in the previous quarter).



  • Demand for investment loans weakened slightly: 27% of MTEs requested financing, after 29% in Q3. 98% of MTEs were fully or almost fully granted. Concerning investment loans, the supply rate was somewhat less strong (87%).
  • MTEs access to private debt issuances should also be considered for this category of firms.
  • Next publication: April 17, 2018
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 - 4th quarter 2017



Quarterly survey on the access to bank



financing of companies



Contact :
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Access to bank financing for companies
  • Published on 01/18/2018
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Published on Thursday, January 18, 2018