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Guarantees

Guarantees

This page contains statistical information on the numbers and volumes of guarantees granted to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The raw data set was obtained from the European Association of Mutual Guarantee Societies (AECM).

Data available

The following indicators are presented on this page:

  • Volumes of guarantees, percentage of GDP
  • Volumes of outstanding guarantees in portfolio percentage of GDP
  • Number of beneficiary SMEs scaled by GDP
  • Number of guarantees in total portfolio.

GDP information was extracted from Eurostat (March 2013).

It should be noted that for the first time in 2012, AECM gathered counter-guarantee/co-guarantee data of its members (issued by AECM members), among others, to guarantee schemes, Therefore, although time series data have been presented below, 2012 figures are not directly comparable to data of previous years.

Statistics for 2011 can be viewed on the Guarantees Indicator Page 2011.

Volumes of granted guarantees (% of GDP) available EU countries data; 2012

The results for the volume of guarantees granted as percentage of GDP in 2012 indicates a wide variation from no guarantees granted to over 1% of GDP. The countries with the highest volume of guarantees granted include: Hungary, Romania, Italy and Portugal. These countries are well above the EU figure of 0.18%. At the opposite end of the scale, countries with the lowest volume of guarantees granted as a percentage of GDP include: Greece, Austria, Bulgaria and Germany. No information was available for Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Croatia, Ireland, Malta, Sweden, Slovak and the UK.

Granted Guarantees 2012 gif - 17 KB [17 KB]

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Volumes of guarantees granted (% of GDP); total available EU countries data; 2007 to 2012

Time series data (2007 to 2012) for the volume of guarantees granted (percentage of GDP) indicates that the pattern for the EU and the Euro zone has been generally similar with the Euro zone generally higher. However the most recent data for 2012 suggests the emergence of a diverging pattern as Euro zone volumes have increased, whereas EU volumes have continued to decline as a percentage of GDP. Volume of guarantees granted peaks in 2009, around the height of the financial downturn.

Granted Guarantees 2007 - 2012 gif - 12 KB [12 KB]

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Volumes of outstanding guarantees in portfolio (% of GDP); available EU countries data; 2012

The total value/volume of outstanding guarantees in portfolio is simply the total amount of outstanding guarantee commitments until 2012 for available countries. The results for outstanding guarantees as percentage of GDP indicate that the countries with the highest volumes include: Italy, Portugal, Hungary and Romany. The countries with lowest volumes include: Luxembourg, Poland, Austria and Bulgaria.

Time series data (2007-2012) points to a close match between the EU and Euro area countries, with both exhibiting a general rising trend, peaking in 2010, then declining by 2011, and remaining constant over the 12 month period to 2012.

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Volumes of outstanding guarantees in portfolio (% of GDP); total available EU countries data; 2007 to 2012

Outstanding Guarantees 2007 - 2012 gif - 11 KB [11 KB]

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Number of beneficiary SMEs scaled by GDP; available EU countries data; 2012

The results for the number of beneficiary SMEs scaled by GDP points to Italian SMEs being by far the greatest recipient of guarantees in 2011, followed by Hungary, Portugal and France. This is not surprising considering that Italy has one of the highest volumes of guarantees granted. Italy alone constituted just under half (47%) of the guarantees market in the EU in terms of volume of guarantees. The importance of Italy to the EU guarantees market therefore merits further comment. The performance of Italy can perhaps partly be explained by the following:

  • The establishment of the AssoConfidi, the Italian umbrella organisation of the six national mutual guarantee federations since the late 1950s (referred to as the confidi system) has contributed over time to a more mature guarantees market compared to other EU countries
  • Italy is associated with sectoral representation of guarantee schemes with the guarantee associations representing entrepreneurs in crafts, retail, service industry etc. This is because the confidi system was historically borne out of the fact that the “artisan” sector had difficulty in obtaining bank finance, thus resulting in the confidi system
  • There are over 500 guarantee institutions, the largest of any EU country
  • Low default ratios on guarantee investment to entrepreneurs.
Number of Beneficiaries 2012 gif - 15 KB [15 KB]

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Number of beneficiary SMEs scaled by GDP; total available EU countries data; 2007 to 2012

The trend for EU and Euro zone over time (2007-2012) for the number of beneficiaries follows the same growth pattern up to 2011, with steep increase in 2010 and then levelling off thereafter. The most recent data for 2012 shows a divergence as the number of beneficiaries in the EU decreased further, whereas Euro zone levels remained constant.

Number of Beneficiaries 2007 - 2012 gif - 11 KB [11 KB]

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Number of guarantees in total portfolio scaled by GDP; available EU countries data; 2012

The results for the number of guarantees in total portfolio scaled by GDP in 2012 highlights the same countries – Italy, Portugal, and Hungary – as being on top. Conversely, generally the same countries are at the bottom in terms of number of guarantees in total portfolio.

In terms of the overall EU and Euro zone trend, the pattern for the two areas match each other from 2007 to 2012, peaking in 2010, then declining steeply in 2011 and remaining flat over 2012.

Number of Guarantees in Total 2012 gif - 19 KB [19 KB]

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Number of guarantees in total portfolio scaled by GDP; total available EU countries data; 2007 to 2012

Number of Guarantees in Total 2007 - 2012 gif - 12 KB [12 KB]

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AECM research

The AECM has published research providing an overview of the evolution of the guarantee business over the last 20 years from 1992 to 2012. See the research report AECM: Statistic leaflet for key statistics and findings.

In 2012, AECM member organisations had a total guarantee volume in portfolio of over €79 billion and issued a total volume of over €26 billion of new guarantees. According to the AECM the growth trend reported in their research “vindicates AECM's perception that the guarantee is a highly efficient SME support instrument that addresses crucial market failure in access to finance. This has been demonstrated even more dramatically by the performance of the anti-crisis measures launched by members” (AECM members) during the recent financial and economic downturn.

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