The Members of European Association of Co-operative Banks (EACB) welcome this EBA exercise aiming to collect input and foster discussions on a key measure of the CRR such as the SME Supporting Factor (SF) as provided by Art. 501 CRR.
Accessing capital and funding is a key factor for SMEs and essential to put them in the conditions to contribute to the economic recovery and the creation of jobs across Europe. Restrictions to the availability of capital and funding may impede SME growth. SMEs need to be enabled to perform necessary investments to adopt new technologies, equipment and processes that will increase their competitiveness.
SMEs In Europe depend heavily upon bank loans, alternative sources of funding (such as those open to listed companies) are usually not available for SMEs. It is for this reason that the SME SF retains a central role in the regulatory framework.
The EACB supports the maintenance of the SME - capital relief - factor . Repealing the SF after such a short implementation period would not allow a full and complete evaluation of the actual impact and benefits of the measure, and could instead have detrimental impacts on funding of the real economy in a time of yet weak recovery.
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Additional and recent intiatives about Co-operative Banks and SMEs: