THE ECONOMIC crisis has made small and medium-sized companies’ (SMEs) access to bank loans more difficult. The share of rejected loan applications submitted by SMEs among all corporate loans increased in 19 out of 20 EU member countries for which data were available between 2007 and 2010. In Slovakia the share of turned-down applications increased from 3.7 percent in 2007 to 9.2 percent in 2010, the SITA newswire reported last October, citing Eurostat data.
The share of approved applications for loans by SMEs decreased from 89.3 percent in 2007 to 76.1 percent. The share of partially approved loans, where a company received a loan but under less favourable conditions than it had originally sought, increased from 7 percent to 14.7 percent.
Bulgaria registered the steepest increase in the share of rejected corporate loan applications, up from 3 percent to 36 percent between 2007 and 2010. It was followed by Ireland (up from 1 percent to 27 percent) and Latvia (up from 4 percent to 26 percent). Bulgaria also topped the ranking of rejected applications in 2010 with 36 percent; Ireland came second with 27 percent and Latvia third with 26 percent. The Netherlands was fourth with 23 percent. Finland reported the highest share of approved loan applications, 96 percent, followed by Malta (91 percent) and Poland (85 percent).