The European Parliament has recently published a study on the role played by National Promotional Banks and Regional Promotional Banks (NPBs and RPBs) in implementing EU SMEs financial instruments across EU-28. The objective is to examine how far they are already involved in implementing these instruments and in what capacity they have to strengthen access to finance for SMEs.

The NPBs and RPBs are public entities and their purpose is to facilitate access to finance for start-ups and SMEs in areas affected by market failures. Despite of that, the study reveals that in some Member States their main focus is on lending to local authorities to invest in infrastructures through public-private partnerships.

The role of BNPs involves:

1. shared management with the Commission of some EU financial instruments, such as Structural Funds and Investment Funds;

2. a financial intermediary role in implementing financial instruments managed directly by the EIB and the EIF;

3. awareness raising among other commercial and financial private institutes;

4. leverage effects thorugh promoting the participation of their investors in the geographic, thematic and sectorial platforms to be set up under the EFSI;

5. general information and advisory role to assist SMEs in accessing EU financial instruments.

The data of the study, recommending a stronger involvement of NPBs and RPBs in the implementation of EU financial instruments, were collected by:

1. desk-research, a review of relevant documentation related to the existence of NPGs in the different Member States;

2. online surveys involving 11 NPBs and RPBs;

3. phone and email-based interviews with NPBs, their financing partners (house banks), their representative organizations (NEFI and the EAPB) and representatives from the EU Commission (DG Research and Innovation, DG Grow, DG REGIO and DG Connect) and the EIB.

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