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Fintech as an opportunity – Swissmechanic seeks new paths for SME financing | News

Thursday, September 14th, 2017 | Economy

Switzerland is an SME country. 99.5% of companies in the manufacturing industry are in the category of small and medium-sized enterprises with less than 250 employees.
These companies are particularly hard hit by the franc shock, because they can not simply outsource production abroad, unlike larger companies.
For them, the digitalization is a blessing and blessing at the same time. On the one hand, automation is an opportunity to push production costs and to compete again in international comparison. On the other hand, this digitalization requires high investment – and that is a problem for many small businesses.
Pfister calls for commitment to SMEs
"The lack of financial resources is one of the greatest challenges on the way to digitalization," said CVP President Gerhard Pfister, most prominent speaker at Swiss Mechanic's Business Day on Thursday in Lucerne. The industry association represents around 1400 members with around 70,000 employees, many of which are supplier companies.
SMEs are the most affected by the reluctant lending of banks. Most of these loans would be granted to companies in the service sector and to start-ups in the public sector. "We do not get the money where it is needed – to SMEs," said Pfister.
There is an imbalance among pension funds and insurance companies. In this context, Pfister set up the idea of ​​an SME fund, an instrument already established in many European countries. "We must promote the established Swiss SMEs much more strongly".
Higher guarantee limits
The CVP president also hopes for a good deal from the three regional guarantee cooperatives in Switzerland. In April, Parliament had decided to raise the guarantee limits from 500,000 to one million francs. However, some time will still elapse before the new regulation enters into force. "It is a path that only helps in the medium term," Pfister admitted.
Finally, Pfister spoke of a liberalization of the Fintech industry. "We have to allow new creative financing opportunities and give Fintech the same opportunities as the big business banks, but I think the political will is missing."


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