- feels that the decline in working capital lending to SMEs is a chronic form of market failure.
- notes that to date the response from EU policymakers has not been proportionate to the problem.
- welcomes the proposals set out in the Commission Communication on long term financing of the European economy and believes that they can, in time, contribute to a reformed and more efficient market for SME finance.
- recognises that measures will take time to implement. The challenge remains what to do now and in the short-term to improve SME access to finance.
- feels that a “one size fits all” solution may not be suitable.
- points out that one of the most interesting initiatives is the Funding for Lending Scheme in the UK. It was extremely successful in boosting mortgage lending and lending to households in the UK and is now in solely at boosting SME lending.
- sees the Funding for Lending Scheme as an example of good practice and recommends that the ECB give serious consideration to the introduction of a similar initiative in the euro area.
- observes that on 5 June 2014 the ECB announced a set of liquidity measures to boost bank lending to SMEs. The EESC is pleased to note that the ECB's main proposal, called Targeted Long Term Refinancing Operation (TLTRO), is similar to the FLS as outlined in this opinion.
- supports initiatives to remove impediments to more accurate assessment of credit worthiness and risk by lenders.