The current downturn is having a devastating and potentially fatal impact on small and medium-sized enterprises. But there are steps financial institutions can take to add value to the experience they deliver to the businesses known as ‘the backbone’ of most economies. Here, Anders la Cour, CEO, Banking Circle, examines the insights delivered by the company’s latest white paper.
Across Europe, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for two-thirds of all employment and more than half of all gross value added (GVA). But the Covid-induced economic slump is affecting SMEs disproportionately, with 90% reporting a drop in turnover as a consequence of the pandemic.
Aiming to fully understand challenges facing these particular businesses – and identify the opportunities for the financial services sector to support an SME bounce-back – financial infrastructure provider Banking Circle commissioned a new white paper entitled Bounce-back Banking: 5 markers for success in delivering SME financial services.
The difficulties SMEs face in accessing suitable and affordable banking, payments and lending solutions is nothing new. The brightest and hungriest firms have for many years faced this challenge. But factor in a global pandemic that forced thousands of those businesses to shut down for weeks or months at a time bringing cashflow to a standstill overnight, the picture grows bleaker still. Add to that a second nationwide lockdown in the lead-up to Christmas, the busiest season for many organisations, and it is hard to predict how the future will look for SMEs.