Reuters reports that European Union banks have shrunk their loan books by over $5.5 trillion since the global crisis of 2007-08. This, in an attempt to cut risk on their balance sheets, choking off credit to companies and stalling the region’s recovery. As a consequence, businesses hunting credit are now forced to look beyond wary EU banks for alternative solutions. In a region where banks previously accounted for almost two thirds of corporate funding, this creates major opportunity for other lenders, including bond markets, private equity firms and insurers.
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