The number of enterprises that have acquired new external financing from private sources is, on average, slightly higher than in recent years. On the other hand, there are somewhat fewer enterprises that have tapped public sources for new financing than in recent years, on average. This information appears from the report on the Business Finance Survey 2012.
Major differences between enterprises in access to finance
Financing problems encountered by micro enterprises of less than ten employees are as much as three-fold compared with large businesses. In addition, financing problems of micro enterprises as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are, on average, pronouncedly more severe than those of large businesses.
The bulk of micro and small enterprises with financing problems received no external funds at all
Almost half of micro enterprises and more than 40% of small enterprises facing financing problems received no external funding at all. For more than 80% of these, business continuity was either at risk or business could be continued only in a manner materially divergent from what had been envisaged.
Wider margins on loans to large businesses
For large businesses, the changed financing situation has been reflected mainly in wider margins on new loans (lending rate less reference rate). More than 60% of large businesses that had raised new financing reported a widening of their margins.
Enterprises increasingly rely on banks for financing
A higher proportion of enterprises than previously cite banks as their main source of finance. This change applies especially to large businesses. More diversified financing structures for enterprises would be justified in a situation where the long-term growth outlook for the Finnish economy is deteriorating and where, owing to tightening bank regulation, the importance of other channels of finance may increase.
Electronic billing moves ahead
More than half of medium-sized and large businesses, a third of small enterprises and a fifth of micro enterprises have migrated to electronic billing. There are still efficiency gains to be reaped from electronic billing in a considerable number of enterprises.
The Business Finance Survey 2012 is a comprehensive overall review of the corporate sector's financing situation. The survey was carried out in April 2012, drawing responses from 3,531 enterprises. The survey was organised under the aegis of the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, the Federation of Finnish Financial Services, Finnvera plc (a State owned specialised financing company and the official Export Credit Agency of Finland), the Federation of Finnish Enterprises, the Bank of Finland and the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and was conducted by IROResearch Oy. The report on the Business Finance Survey 2012 (in Finnish only) is posted as a flash version (recommended) on the Bank of Finland website:
In addition to nation-wide survey results provided in the report, results in respect of regional centres for economic development, transport and the environment (ELY centres) will also be published in the Toimiala Online database maintained by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, www.toimialaonline.fi.
Jukka Vauhkonen, Economist, Bank of Finland, email@example.com, tel. +358 10 831 2111.
Tommi Toivola, Senior Advisor, Confederation of Finnish Industries EK, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 9 4202 3292.