‘SME banks are urgently needed’

The Netherlands could prepare a new bank that specifically focuses on SMEs. Since the DPR recently (again) adopted a motion from MP CDA Mustafa Amhaouch, politicians are obliged to investigate the arrival of SME banks. A year ago, former Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Mona Keijzer said she saw nothing blocking the arrival of SME banks.

On the BNR Nieuwsradio radio program, Hans Biesheuvel, chairman of Ondernemend Nederland (ONL), expressed his enthusiasm for the news. This is music to Biesheuvel’s ears that entrepreneurs will not immediately rely on large traditional banks for financing.

“Since the beginning of ONL – nine years ago – the idea of ​​an SME bank has existed,” said Biesheuvel. The chairman of ONL hopes that the bank of the future will become a place where entrepreneurs seeking financing will be assisted independently and well. Biesheuvel points to the British Business Bank in the UK. “It was introduced many years ago and it works really well.”

The chairman of ONL stated in a radio program that it is important that financing proposals are seen independently in SME banks. He himself admits to having good experience with Qredits, a microfinance company in the Netherlands that is “successful”. As far as Biesheuvel is concerned, the SME bank is a follow-up to this. “But then for bigger financing. And not only for borrowing money, but also for leasing and factoring.” According to Biesheuvel, it should be a platform that makes sense from an entrepreneur’s point of view.

The chairman of ONL gave an example, currently only three banks can provide financing. “At ABN AMRO, applications for financing of less than one million are no longer included, which is 90% of SMEs. Therefore, a separate bank for the group is urgently needed.”

Astrid Marshman

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