Basel III.automotiveIT

EU member nations are planning to tighten rules governing bank lending

Germany's IT lobby warns that plans for a Europe-wide tightening of credit regulation under the so-called "Basel III" rules will negatively affect many small and medium-sized IT companies.

The European Union is currently discussing new rules that would force banks to increase reserves held against the loans they offer. That would lead to more restrictive lending policies, the IT lobby fears.

"Without further adjustments, the Basel III rules will limit banks in their lending to small and medium-sized companies and will make loans more expensive," said Heinz Paul Bonn, the vice president of Bitkom, Germany's IT industry association.

At the moment, German IT companies don't have any difficulties raising the funds they need to grow. According to a BITKOM survey, only 9 pc of companies sees lending difficulties as an obstacle to growth.

But the industry association warns that bank loans will continue to be crucial in financing growth and innovation. And the industry sees problems increasing if economic growth falters.

If EU ministers decide to implement Basel III, the new rules could take effect on January 1.