The European Association of Co-operative Banks (EACB) and the European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (UEAPME) urge policy makers to recognise the pivotal role of co-operative banks and SMEs in supporting and fuelling Europe’s real economy.
Co-operative banks and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are deeply rooted in the European economic landscape. 99.8% of enterprises active in the EU are SMEs. Co-operative banks are the main partners of SMEs. In countries like Italy, France, Germany and the Netherlands, between 25% and 45% of all loans are granted by co-operatives, with SMEs representing between 20% and 50% of their clients.
Given the strong SME preference for bank financing, it is extremely important that the credit channel is not impaired by burdensome regulation. Tailoring regulation in a way that takes into account the need to finance the European economy must remain a priority objective.
For this reason the EACB an UEAPME have put forward five recommendations.