Healthy finance markets are essential for businesses of all sizes. The supply of lending services should be varied, transparently priced and internationally competitive.
SME finance in Finland is bank-centric, so the efficacy and stability of the banking sector has a key impact on businesses’ operations. Securing a stable banking market depends on regulation.
Suomen Yrittäjät supports regulation which prevents excessive exposure and tempers the effects of volatile economic cycles. At the same time, we demand the repeal of regulation which is unfit for purpose and needlessly detrimental to SMEs. The effects of financial market regulation must be constantly evaluated, ensuring bank regulation does not place disproportionate demands on banks’ business lending.
A bank is increasingly seldom an SME’s only source of finance. For this reason, Suomen Yrittäjät advocates for more diverse market-based finance options. We want to make healthy, efficient capital markets more significant as a finance avenue. Healthy capital markets improve SMEs’ access to finance, diversify business finance options and increase the number of sources of finance.
Regulation of the lending markets forces the public sector to take greater risk. We consider public business finance, such as via Finnvera, which supplements market-based finance, necessary. Care must, however, be taken at the same time to ensure the role of public finance does not disturb the markets or become a “compulsory” element of business finance.
Suomen Yrittäjät emphasizes that to promote SMEs’ international growth, export finance should adopt a model which offers SMEs the same finance instruments as larger companies.
The greatest transformation in the finance sector in future will be digitalization. It will change the market far more than the economy and regulation combined. We want financial technology to benefit SMEs by granting them the services previously only available to large companies.