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OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2015

image of OECD Business and Finance Outlook 2015

This new Outlook on finance and investment presents unique data, analysis and instruments, looking at what might affect and change, both favourably and unfavourably, tomorrow's world of business, finance and investment.  Investment (including foreign direct investment), SME financing, pensions, insurance, corporate governance and competition are among the threads creating the narrative of today's environment and future expectations.

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Bank and capital market financing of small and medium-sized enterprises

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in their economies as key generators of employment and income, and as drivers of innovation and growth. They are essential for the economic recovery from the current economic and financial crisis, which has reduced bank lending and affected SMEs in particular because credit sources tend to dry up more rapidly for small firms than for large companies during economic downturns. This chapter identifies bank lending gaps that have opened up since the crisis and that are especially pertinent outside the United States. Therefore, a two-pronged approach to fostering SME financing (in as far as it is a supply problem) is proposed: first, restoring banks’ health to improve bank lending; and second, supporting the development of a broad range of non-bank financing for SMEs in debt and equity markets, the latter being especially well-suited for small dynamic, innovation-oriented SMEs. The chapter concludes that, owing to their diversity, the financing of SMEs remains complex and requires a variety of instruments and approaches. Policy makers can help by providing regulatory support and assist in the improvement of data transparency, standardisation, and raising awareness about available financing options.

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