Banks called upon to support SMEs international expansion, as 70% abandon overseas plans

Banks are reducing their appetite to fund small and medium-sized companies, according to brokers handling loan applications.

Banks need better cooperation with SMEs to grow the economy as 70 per cent ofbusinesses have abandoned overseas expansion plans due to a lack of resources and support, according to industry experts at Money 20/20.

Almost three quarters of business owners feel their banks provide ‘very limited’ support around international finances, revealed the SME Empowerment Report from financial toolkit, HedgeFlows.

Speaking from Money 20/20 in Amsterdam, Neh Thaker, Managing Director of HedgeFlows, said: “The SME market is diverse and fragmented which causes the traditional coverage model by banks and other providers to be difficult to scale past payments and current accounts. SMEs are the backbone of the economy and powerhouses for innovation and growth, so it’s important that banks play a key role in supporting businesses, especially when it comes to trading internationally.”

“SMEs are keen for overseas trade which requires access to the right financial tools to help them against fraud, currency swings and hidden costs, but these solutions can be expensive. Many SMEs never grow up to be able to afford the right tools so they never become resilient big businesses and eventually die unnecessarily. This leads to a bifurcation between big and small businesses and so a fundamental unfairness. Bridging the gap by empowering SMEs to plan and manage their finances for international expansion is a key driver for HedgeFlows”, Thaker continued.

The UK government revealed that at the beginning of 2022, the total turnover for SMEs was estimated at £2.1 trillion, equating to 51 per cent of the economy.

Money 20/20, which took place between the 6th – 8th June in Amsterdam, welcomed over 7,500 attendees from over 2,300 companies to connect industry leaders in the FinTech and financial services spaces to discuss innovation in the sector and how businesses accelerate growth.

On the 6thJune, Neh Thaker and Alex Axentiev, Managing Directors of HedgeFlows, presented on the need for a fresh approach to treasury and risk management solutions for      businesses aspiring to grow internationally.

Alex Axentiev, Managing Director of HedgeFlows, added: “Doing business internationally can be a risky and unsettling process for SMEs and early-stage businesses, and it is vital that they have access to the resources and support to simpler financial planning, risk management and AP/AR automation across currencies.

HedgeFlows is a financial toolkit that enables smaller companies to manage all their international finances on a self-service platform. All the way from invoice management and seamless payments through to expert risk management.