Access to finance still a challenge | ACCA Global
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ACCA Russia survey reveals SME predicament

A survey conducted by ACCA Russia and Finansoviy Director [Finance Director] magazine has revealed that access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Russia continues to be as difficult as it was two years ago.

The research was carried out following claims made by Russia's financial authorities in the second half of 2009 that the prospects for obtaining loans had improved significantly since the wake of the financial crisis in 2008.

A total of 130 ACCA members, students or ACCA DipIFR qualification holders employed as either financial directors or specialists - 44% at firms with annual revenues below RUR500m - were polled.

The survey findings revealed:

  • Most SMEs (55% of respondents) badly needed credits for their working capital replenishment and 25% were seeking loans to cover their short-term cash deficiency. 
  • Compared to 2008, all companies encountered more difficulty in obtaining working capital loans, investment credits or overdrafts. Larger companies, however, found their situation had improved.
  • A total of 57% of respondents from SMEs and 48% from large enterprises believe that loans in the first half of 2009 became significantly less available.
  • In the first six months of 2009, the volume of credits provided to SMEs in Russia fell by 36% compared to the same period in 2008. But in the third quarter of 2009, loans for SMEs had already shown a growth of 4%. 
  • Only 36% of respondents who applied for a short-term bank loan in 2009 were able to receive financing in full.
  • Almost 40% of SME respondents and 52% of respondents from large companies (over RUR500m annual revenue) believe that credits in 2010 will become more widely available.

Commenting on the findings, Dmitry Kouznetsov, ACCA Russia information specialist, said: 'The results of the survey show that SMEs in Russia are in a disadvantageous position compared to large companies when it comes to bank loans.

'Through this research, ACCA Russia has tried to highlight the problems facing SMEs in Russia, which we hope will contribute to a greater accessibility of finance.'