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Using data from a survey of 91 banks in 45 countries, the authors characterize bank financing to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) around the world. They find that banks perceive the SME segment to be highly profitable, but perceive macroeconomic instability in developing countries and competition in developed countries as the main obstacles. To serve SMEs banks have set up dedicated departments and decentralized the sale of products to the branches. However, loan approval, risk management, and loan recovery functions remain centralized.
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