FICO Research Points to Narrowing SME ‘Credit Gap’

The ‘credit gap’ for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), represented by the difference between credit requested and credit granted, may be shrinking in Europe according to research by FICO.

The analytics and decision management technology firm said that its most recent survey of European credit risk professionals, conduced with the European Financial Management Association (EFMA) shows that the difference between the percentage of respondents who forecast an increase in credit requested and the percentage who forecast an increase in credit granted has fallen sharply

In the survey of more than 70 bank risk officers, conducted in September and October. 35% of respondents said the volume of credit requested by SME’s will rise in the next six month, and 26% said the volume granted will rise.

“There is still a gap between forecast demand and supply, but it is much lower than earlier this year,” said Daniel Melo, senior director for FICO solution consulting in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), who presented the survey findings at the 7th Annual SME Banking Conference in Vienna this month.

“The credit gap for small businesses reached its highest point in 2 years in July 2012, and has been cut in half in the latest survey. One survey does not make a trend, but there is reason for European small business owners to be cautiously optimistic.”

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