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Post-crisis reforms in the financial sector reduced access to credit for small companies, but the effects are outweighed by the benefits of shoring up the global financial system, concludes the Financial Stability Board (FSB).

The FSB published its final report Nov. 29, which evaluated the effects of the G20 reforms on small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) financing.

The report focused primarily on the impact of the reforms on the quantity and quality of capital held by banks under the capital regime known as Basel III.

It found that, while the effort to toughen banks’ capital requirements did slow lending and tighten lending conditions in some markets, there were not permanent negative effects on financing overall.

“The evaluation provides robust evidence that the post-crisis financial reforms have not led to a material and persistent reduction in SME lending,” said Klaas Knot, vice chair of the FSB and president of De Nederlandsche Bank.

The FSB report noted that lending growth has resumed, but that volumes remained below pre-crisis levels in some jurisdictions. Access to non-bank financing also increased, particularly in advanced economies.

Additionally, the FSB stated that the impact on SME financing, which appears to be limited and transitory, “should be framed against the wider financial stability benefits of the G20 reforms.”

“Indeed, the stronger financial system created by the reforms provides a firm foundation to support SME growth over the long term,” said Knot.