In 2010, the total volume of granted loans reached 10,2% of the country’s GDP, compared to 5,65 % EU average. In 2010 the loans below EUR 1 million were granted with an average interest rate of 5,1%, very similar to the EU average of 5,05% (ECB data). The share of Maltese SMEs experiencing problems with access to finance before 2009 was 35%, considerably higher than the EU average of 21% (Annual Report on EU SMEs, 2009). The percentage of successful loan applications in total loan applications by SMEs registered a slight decline from 2007 to 2010, from 94,3% to 91,3% (EUROSTAT 2011). According to information contained in the Small Business Act (SBA) Fact Sheet for Malta, many indicators in the area of access to finance are missing. Consequently, no assessment can be made as regards some important financial sub-sections such as access to venture capital or cash flow. On access to credit, the mark-up for smaller loans (below EUR 1 million) as compared to larger ones is much smaller in Malta (13%) than in the EU as a whole (24%). However, the below-average score for access to public support (including guarantees) is a matter of concern,. This also applies to the amount of support SMEs get from the EU’s structural and regional funds. On both indicators Malta has some of the lowest scores of any EU country regarding regional funds the SMEs' share is only 2,8% (as compared to 22% for the EU as a whole), while in the case of structural funds it is zero.
Research, articles etc.
- SBA factsheet for Malta [244 KB]
|Key indicators on access to finance|
Malta performed above the European average for all the years of SMAF index availability. The index level has increased every year from 2007 to 2011. This can be explained by decreasing interest rates that directly influenced the index value.
For details regarding the composition of the SMAF index and the methodology of compiling it please click here.[32 KB]
Regarding loan volumes, data collected by the ECB shows a 2007-2011 bank lending trend in Malta similar to the one observed at the level of the EU, with the difference of a steeper decline in 2011 in Malta compared to the EU-wide level. Interest rates for loans up to EUR 1 million followed a descending path during the same period of time, falling from 10,27% in 2007 to 4,35% in 2011.[64 KB]
Appendix: ACTIONS SUPPORTING ACCESS TO FINANCE FOR SMEs (PDF) [357 KB]