” My bank killed me ” is the cry of the heart of many small entrepreneurs, artisans or traders, who blame their bank to ” drop to the first difficulty “, precipitating the bankruptcy of their company. Many experts share this view. ” Our banks do not believe in SMEs, ” says a specialist, René Hans, who created a firm to help businesses released by their bank. As a result, hundreds of small businesses, businesses with fewer than 250 employees, and small businesses that could be saved with a banking boost are going bankrupt and fired.
Last year, 61,749 small French companies went bankrupt, in the sectors of industry, commerce, and services. Not all were viable, but many were unsafe: two-thirds of them claimed the temporary assistance of less than € 50,000, some were put into liquidation for less than € 10,000 of overdraft.
The reluctance of our banks vis-à-vis small businesses is all the more raging as our SMEs employ 17 million French, while large groups such as Renault, Bouygues, Total or Peugeot, pampered by our bankers, do not employ only 2 million French.
Unlike France, Germany, and Italy like their small and medium-sized businesses, which are under the control of governments and banks. Small businesses make the fortune of Germany, ensuring a surplus trade balance while ours is dangerously deficient.
The problem for small and medium-sized enterprises is cash: the money they have to pay wages, social security, rent, raw materials and the rest. When a customer fails, when the action slows down, it’s a disaster. And that’s when SMEs need banks … they do not always find them. The testimonies we have collected are edifying.
” I put my bank to bag ”
Gerard Gilbert had spent his whole life in his transport business. His bank did not keep his word. He lost everything …
Still, under the shock of his bankruptcy, Gerard Gilbert explains: ” I was so angry at my bank that one day, my blood was only one round … I went and I put everything sacked, I broke everything! Gérard is the prototype of the “small boss” of SMEs who put everything into his business: his life, his time, his savings and his know-how. At first, he is an excellent mechanic. Employed in a garage in Mulhouse, he decided to set up his own business in 2000. He took out a € 300,000 bank loan and set up shop on 1,000 m2 premises. ” I was selling heavy trucks, but I was also repairing and leasing trucks. It worked very well! I paid back my loans normally. Until the day when one of my German customers, who had ordered several trucks, crashes me … I end up with a slate of about 100,000 €. Difficult situation, but not insurmountable. I had a good business. But I did not sleep at night. I then ask a loan to my bank, guaranteed on the value of walls worth 450,000 €. The bank promises me its support several times because the walls are worth more than the loan. ”
Everything seems settled. ” Until the day the bank stops responding. She had promised to give me credit money, but I can not find anyone to talk to. It took me several days to meet the director. He told me he was not doing anything for no reason. So I stole a lot of anger! ”
Today Gerard has lost everything. ” Yes, everything I had built, my garage and my house. I do not explain what I suffered … The gendarmes came with the banker in front of my house, under the eyes of the neighbors and my children! I’ll never forget. This business was a great deal, it was safe. The one who took it back lives very well. ”
” The coup de grace! ”
David Gattescot lost his bankrupt furniture store, ” while the business was viable .”
” The coup de grace was the announcement of my cancer … I am convinced that it is the consequence of the stress related to the abandonment of my bank, which precipitated my bankruptcy! Sobs in his voice, this 38-year-old man never stops rehashing his ordeal. This father of three was desperate to save his business. Today he risks losing his home and no longer being able to support his family. Becoming a simple salesman in a furniture store, David remembers: ” It was beautiful, my store. ”
In 2006, David took the franchise of a major furnishing brand: 1,000 m2 in Mulhouse. For this, he seeks a payday loan consolidation of € 220,000- hamptoninnofbensalem.com/credit-card-debt-loan-consolidation-beware-of-the-most-typical-debt-consolidation-trap. His loan is granted without a problem. David inaugurates his store ” with great pomp “. He multiplies promotion operations, flashes sales … But in 2008, after two years of activity, David is facing the crisis. As a cautious business leader, he decided to reduce the sails. ” An area of 350 m2 has been released near the store. I just needed an extension of the bank to move. I needed 35,000 €. My banker gave me verbal and written guarantees in front of witnesses. Confident, David then starts the work in his new store and moves in.
Strangely, his bank stops responding to his calls. “It took me several visits to the agency to hear me say they would not fund me,” he recalls. I had their verbal and written guarantees. Without that, I would not have incurred costs in a new store. I was helpless. I fought for the store for years. I lost everything or almost everything. I still do not understand the reasons for this release of the bank. Today everything is linked together. My doctor diagnosed cancer that I attribute to all these stories. A sigh: ” I badly want my bank. By “planting” me, she “plants” a whole family. So I decided to counter-attack on the faith of the writings I received and the promises she made me. I start a lawsuit that I know is difficult against my bank! ”
A Zorro to help SMEs?
Shocked by the behavior of banks towards SMEs and SMIs, René Hans decided to help the “little bosses” in difficulty.
He presents himself as a Zorro, ready to save small craftsmen, traders and small bosses in difficulty vis-à-vis banks necessarily heartless! If he decided to help SMEs on the brink of bankruptcy, by creating the firm Capital Initiative in 1998, it was because he witnessed ” too many unfair bankruptcies, bankruptcies that could have been avoided with a little help from the bank “. René Hans was an accountant in Alsace and he often faced the difficulties of SMEs. In 1998, he helps a small boss to save his business. This SME, condemned by his bank, employed 45 stonecutters, all companions of the Tour de France. René Hans redeems the company by the employees. Twelve years later, it thrives. ” The banks were wrong. They had quickly condemned a viable business. It’s not acceptable, especially in times of crisis, “he says today.
Among the companies he claims to have saved by bringing cash to get out of a bad patch, the former auditor quotes the company of Gerard Stumpf, released overnight by his bank while he encountered a one-time cash flow problem. His business is profitable. The cabinet of René Hans helps him to pass the wrong course, and the company thrives today.
In twelve years of existence, Capital Initiative has helped hundreds of companies. But thousands of SMEs, artisans and small traders remain disarmed. ” Before the crisis, 50,000 companies filed for bankruptcy every year. They are 150,000 today. ”
” And yet she lives, my business! ”
Hervé Stumpf is 49 years old. He is now leading a successful driver training company and employs three people. Yet in 1998, his bank had dropped, believing he would never get out! He still has not forgiven. ” My bank dropped me almost overnight. At the time, I had as a big client an important administration that paid me every two months, so I had no cash flow problems. But overnight this administration decides to pay me every six months. It did not change my sales. Despite this, my bank decided not to follow me anymore. It was stupid like attitude. I explained my problem to Capital Initiative, which helped us find another financial institution. It saved us. But if I had listened to my banker, I would be dead today! ”