FSB Report Examines Effects of Basel Reforms on Small, Midsize Biz Financing

A new analysis by the Financial Stability Board of the global post-financial crisis regulatory framework found that the regulatory reforms did not have “material and persistent negative effects on [small and medium enterprise]financing in general,” though some of the more stringent risk-based capital requirements may have slowed the pace of financing or caused credit conditions to tighten at the banks capitalized the least before the crisis in some locales.

The FSB’s empirical analysis found that for some jurisdictions that experienced this slowing, SMEs appear to have been more affected than other corporate customers, “resulting in some cases in a portfolio re-composition away from SMEs.” In some jurisdictions, the report also noted that institutions most affected by the reforms have kept relatively higher loan rates charged to SMEs, and have increased loan collateralization. The report noted, however, that “these effects differ across jurisdictions and cannot easily be disentangled from the low interest rate environment or from banks adjusting to lower profit margins.”