Germany’s small and medium-sized enterprises are turning to structured finance products to provide the credit they sometimes struggle to find, says Jan F Wagner.

German bankers may not like to admit it, but for the first time in post-war German history, the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), known collectively as the Mittelstand, face a credit crunch.

According to a new survey by KfW, the government-owned development bank, nearly half the Mittelstand say that obtaining a bank loan – its main means of finance – has become “considerably more difficult”. KfW also found that three-quarters of the SMEs turned down for a loan would have paid a higher interest rate to get it.

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