The main message of the conference, underlined and agreed by the banks present, is that the IMM INVEST Program is a major action of the Romanian Government aimed to support SMEs, which Banks, both private and state, support unanimously, allocating resources and working on optimizations for the most efficient processing of the very high number of applications received.
The main recommendations aimed at increasing the approval of credit applications submitted under this program were the following:
* It is advisable for the company to choose the bank where it has already open accounts and financing, the bank representatives being aware of the activity and the peculiarities of the business;
* If the customer has accounts with several banks, the bank with the center of weight of contractual relations is preferable for applying the credit request.
* The justification of the request showing the need for financing must be coherent, a correct justification leading to a faster process of analysis and approval of the credit application.
* In the request for both working capital and investment credit, increased attention should be paid to detailing essential expenses as well as to linking estimated sales with the amount of credit request (it is necessary a good projection from the perspective of revenues); for investment credit in particular, the necessity and impact of the investment in improving profitability and in increasing the company's income must be very well explained.
* For the investment credit, the duration is 72 months and therefore there must be an efficient sizing, the related financial "burden" is necessary to be calculated as correctly as possible.
* Increased attention is recommended to companies with regards to the amount of credit required, to correlate it with the final financial capacity of the company. There should be no confusion between the maximum amount that can be granted and the amount that is actually necessary for the company.
* Each business is important and the emphasis banks give is on its viability before the crisis begun; sector or industry that the company is part of is not a criterion for approving/rejecting or prioritizing the credit application.
* A good credit history, without payment incidents before the crisis generated by Covid 19, represents a very good argument for the credit approval.
* Forecasts included in cash flow and business plan must be based on realistic assumptions that prove the company's ability to generate profit and cash to pay rates and interest on credit.
* Approved and submitted to the Tax Authorities financial statements as at 31.12.2019 are an accelerator factor of credit analysis and approval.
* Maximum attention should be allocated to defining the purpose of the credit, as its destination cannot be changed during its duration.
* A vital element is the correct classification of the company in the SME category for which the Group relations must be considered, not only the participations between companies but also those of joint ownership (physical persons and administrators) – for more information on the classification, please consult the Guide of the European Commission, which can be accessed on the FNGCIMM website.