Banking Circle Report on Financial inclusion for European SMEs
It is not often that availability of technology, legislation, standards, and strategy come together at the same moment, as they appear to be in relation to financial inclusion for SMEs.
The recognition is there. From state actors to software developers, FinTechs and financial institutions, SMEs and NGOs recognise that financial inclusion for small businesses is a critical necessity. There is a growing commitment to improving access to commercial banking, transaction services and lending for SMEs across Europe. As one interviewee put it, “This opportunity is the chance to solve one of the world’s largest socio-economic problems, the £1.2 trillion undersupply of credit to SMEs.”
There are plenty of ambitious, but still underserved, businesses with specific needs that could be met by an open, joined-up ecosystem. There are plenty of potential providers of innovative ‘point’ solutions.
But as this report highlights there is still a lack of connection between the two, apart from individual, often ad hoc series of collaborations. The bigger picture of a connected ecosystem – a circle of trust – is often obscured by a virtual tidal wave of statistics, audits and promotions.