Credit demand and supply return to pre-crisis levels
The proportion of SMEs and VSEs that have applied for new loans fell slightly in Q3 after a moderate increase in Q2, while it was stable for VSEs. While companies report that more than 90% of their investment credit requests have been met, the rate of cash credit supply declined in Q3, although it remained high. Finally, a large proportion of companies reported an increase in the cost of credit compared to previous quarters.
The Banque de France carries out a quarterly survey on the access to bank financing of companies. Around 4,000 small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) and 500 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). NB: bank credits alone are examined in this survey; MTEs have access to private financing options, which provides them with financing solutions not covered by this survey.
Data not seasonally adjusted, in %; excluding use of previously granted credit lines
Scope: companies with autonomy to decide on credit applications: VSE = 0 - 9 employees; SME = 10 - 249 employees; MTE = 250 - 4999 employees
Demands for new investment loans (1 on the above graph) remained stable for VSEs with 6% of them having requested a loan, whereas they were down slightly for SMEs at 20% and MTEs at 26%. These requests remained well served as observed over several quarters: 91% of VSEs, 96% of SMEs and 99% of MTEs having requested a loan obtained it fully or for more than 75% (2).
Over 2022 Q3, demands for new cash credits (3) moderately decreased: 4% of VSEs, 5% of SMEs and 9% of MTEs have requested cash credits over the last three months. Supply rates (4) for these credits kept shrinking for each company size: 73% of VSEs 83% of SMEs and 85% of MTEs obtained their loan, fully or at least at 75%.
For operating needs, SMEs and MTEs can apply (usually at the beginning of the year) for credit lines giving them drawing rights over the year.
The share of SMEs that have applied for credit lines in the last 12 months remained constant at 34%. Among MTEs, 47% have made requests, which represents 2pp more compared to the previous quarter. These requests were still largely satisfied (fully or by more than 75%), in 95% of demands for SMEs and MTEs.
51% of SMEs drew on credit lines this quarter, 1pp less than in 2022 Q2. 60% of MTEs drew on their credit lines, which represents an increase of 5 pp compared to the previous quarter.
2- Supply rate for equipment loans
Among investment loans, equipment loans are intended to finance intangible or tangible assets, excluding real estate.
The supply rate for equipment loans increased by 6 pp for VSEs, 90% of which have obtained their loan in full or at more than 75%. The supply rate for this type of loan remained stable for larger companies, at 92% for SMEs and 90% for VSEs.
3- Evolution of the cost of credit
This quarter, the proportion of companies reporting an increase in the overall cost of credit has increased logically. Indeed, 36% of SMEs and 53% of MTEs reported an increase in the cost of credit, compared with 25% and 34% in the previous quarter. At the same time, the proportion of companies reporting a decrease in the cost of credit is less than 2% for both SMEs and MTEs.
Once again, the rise in business interest rates observed since March 2022 is key to read such figures.
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Access to bank financing for companies
Published on Wednesday, November 23, 2022