Press release

EU banking associations presents a set of High Level Principles for Banks’ Feedback on SME Credit Applications

6 June 2017

The European Mortgage Federation – European Covered Bond Council (EMF-ECBC) together with four other European banking associations (EAPB[1], EACB, EBF and ESBG) presented today, after discussing with European SME organisations, a set of high-level principles regarding the communication between SMEs and banks around loan applications (available here). The principles aim at promoting high quality feedbacks on credit applications enabling SME clients to understand the reasons behind the bank’s decision.

The ultimate goal is to contribute to a favourable environment for businesses in Europe by supporting the financing capacity, improving financial knowledge and enhancing access to finance for economically sound projects to ensure that SMEs can continue to grow for the benefit of Europe.

The high-level principles were formally adopted today. Europe’s banking sector, with its pivotal financing role, fully supports and contributes to the Capital Markets Union, in particular to the objective of enhancing SME access to finance, and contributes to strengthening the ecosystem for growth in Europe by cooperating with all stakeholders.

Luca Bertalot, EMF-ECBC Secretary General, said:

“We are delighted to present these high-level principles which are the result of an intense dialogue with members, regulators, SMEs and other banking associations. These high-level principles will be instrumental for banks and SMEs in enhancing European market best practices and facilitating market transparency.”

The majority of SME applications for credit are successful. In fact, close to 80% of all requests are approved. However, higher rates of growth can be achieved by helping those SMEs which have not been successful to understand better what they can do to obtain financing. The EMF actively supports the initiative of strengthening feedback provided to SMEs when their credit applications do not prove successful, especially in countries were national initiatives to facilitate this dialogue have not yet been fully developed.

Many valuable initiatives for feedback for SMEs already exist at a national level across Europe. The current initiative builds on these and aims to close the gap in those areas where there is a need.


[1] The EAPB will sign at a later date.