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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News article19 January 2023Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs1 min read

Survey finds European businesses affected by tighter financing conditions and deteriorating access to finance

Today, the Commission published the results of the 2022 survey on SMEs’ access to finance, an annual survey conducted by the Commission and European Central Bank.

The results provide accounts from businesses about facing tighter financing conditions in the past year due to the general economic downturn. More specifically, the survey shows that two thirds of businesses experienced increased interest rates and one out of five businesses faced tighter collateral requirements for bank financing.

Moreover, 9 out of 10 businesses reported increased costs for materials and energy, while SMEs report increased labour costs and lower profits as well. Companies also perceived a decrease in banks’ willingness to provide loans and credit lines and expect that this trend will continue.

The survey is based on feedback concerning the economic situation between March and August 2022, collected from 15,000 European businesses. Over 90% of these businesses are SMEs, from EU27 as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The results of the survey provide important evidence on the conditions European businesses are facing today. The survey contributes to the Commission’s work in further supporting businesses in the single market in the current energy crisis and related difficult economic situation.

The Commission is already carrying out several actions to address the energy crisis through for example the Energy Prices Toolbox or the REPowerEU Plan. In addition, existing EU programmes such as the InvestEU are reinforcing SMEs’ access to finance. They will strengthen the businesses’ competitiveness alongside their green and digital transition.

More information

Visit the SAFE webpage for more, including the results for each EU country and for different groups of enterprises, as well as an analytical report with detailed analysis.