Company Rating project to help small companies obtain credit


Small and medium-size enterprises have often complained about difficulties obtaining credit from banks. This should change with the introduction of a new project called Company Rating, which was launched last Monday.

The new rating system should make life easier for business as they will not need to provide huge piles of documents and forms to prove credibility of their accounting every time they ask a bank for credit. Tomas Denemark is the head of Czech Credit Bureau, which calculates the ratings of Czech firms.

"The rating is meant to benefit not only banks on the creditor side, but also other financial institutions, such as leasing companies, insurance companies and others who need information about sole entrepreneurs and small- and medium-size businesses in order to be able to provide services to them."

The project is jointly organized by the Czech Economic Chamber and the Czech Credit Bureau. Other partners include the CSOB bank and a company called Cash Reform. They say firms with a high rating could obtain credit within three days upon application.

The initial target group are enterprises with annual sales from 10 to 300 million CZK and up to 250 employees. In the next stage, rating will be provided to smaller firms with annual sales lower than 10 million.

The rating provided by the Czech Credit Bureau should reduce banks' excessive cautiousness when providing credit. The Economic Chamber decided to act due to a growing number of requests from small and medium-size enterprises to help them obtain credit in recent years. According to the head of the Economic Chamber, Petr Kuzel, the chamber's offices around the country find it hard to satisfy the vast number of firms that have applied for a rating and is therefore planning to expand its network. He also told Czech Radio what firms need when asking for a rating.

"If you want to obtain a rating from us, you have to submit let's call it a shortened version of the financial statement. You have to provide all the necessary data, but the greatest advantage is that you need to do it only once."