What is the future of SME banking? In IFC’s inaugural SME business-banking survey, we posed this question to the heads of SME operations serving small businesses around the world. The goal of the online survey launched in 2018 was to identify the biggest issues SME banking leaders are grappling with and to better understand the opportunities to run innovative, competitive and sustainable SME banking units.
This report, Banking on SMEs: Trends and Challenges, aggregates the responses to provide insight into the issues occupying SME bankers’ minds, broken down by regional trends and size of SME banking operation. The analysis includes the challenges banks face while serving small businesses, investment areas that are yielding results, and innovations that will shape SME banking. Small businesses represent a significant part of the world economy, and can be one of the strongest drivers of economic development and employment when given the right support, access to financial services and a supportive regulatory environment. We believe the insights of SME banking leaders from around the world will help practitioners build successful small business-banking operations.