Survey on the access to finance of enterprises
SMEs reported a deterioration in the economic environment: turnovers decreased for the first time since 2014 and profits declined across countries and sectors.
The improvement in the availability of external finance for SMEs slowed, although bank interest rates continued to decline.
SMEs’ expectations about the future availability of external finance fell significantly, reflecting the expected impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The majority of firms in the euro area are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These enterprises account for a major share of euro area turnover and employment.
SMEs are not just “scaled-down” versions of large businesses: it is likely that the monetary policy transmission mechanism is different for SMEs compared with large firms because of SMEs’ higher dependence on financing from banks. The results of this survey are therefore useful to the ECB in its decision-making.
The survey on access to finance of enterprises (SAFE) provides information on the financing conditions faced by SMEs compared with those of large firms during the past six months, in particular regarding:
- financial situation, growth, innovation and need for external financing
- use of internal and external funds
- experience with applications for external financing
- use of loans, loan size and the reasons for accessing specific loans
- views on how accessible different types of available financing are
- expectations on future financing.
Report on and data from the joint European Commission & ECB surveys
As of 2013, the data and report from the joint survey are published every year (previously every two years), covering all EU Member States and a few other countries.
Data for the euro area enterprises
If you would like to access the anonymised microdata, please fill in and return the confidentiality declaration form to the survey access team via email.
The SAFE team will then let you know if your request has been authorised.
Twice a year, usually in March and October, we contact thousands of businesses in Europe to ask what financing conditions they are experiencing and how easily they can access finance.
Panteia, a policy research company, in cooperation with GDCC (Global Data Collection Company), an independent market research firm, carries out this survey on behalf of the ECB and the European Commission. The interviews are conducted over a five-week period mainly by telephone, though respondents can also complete an online questionnaire.
You may have been contacted as a potential respondent. If so, we would greatly appreciate your participation. If you have any questions about the survey, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.