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Financing SMEs in France: Another Paper!

Jean-Paul Betbèze Président, Betbèze Conseil ; ancien chef économiste, Crédit agricole SA. Contact : jpb@betbezeconseil.com.


How can we understand what is going on in the way SMEs are financed in Europe and more precisely in France? Polls tell us that everything works smoothly, but those polls are made by banks and credit hardly grows and companies do complain, especially if they are young and tiny. Many reasons can account for this situation: Basel regulation, European regulation and Banking union, competition among banks concur to make credit more complex, with tighter margins. And, by the same time, securitization and disintermediation do grow. This evolution is both permitted by new technologies, looked after by investors (in asset management and insurance companies), promoted by regulators and central bankers and finally favoured by bankers themselves. So this new channel should grow, with a higher interest rate we must admit, and we all have to be prepared to it.


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