ECB struggles to boost small business lending but problem is lack of clients not credit

Speaking about the need for greater activity from small businesses to kickstart the European economy, European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi has said that there is "no direct instrument to force banks to lend to SMEs” (small and medium sized businesses).

However, the central bank does have an open mind on stimulative lending and has “tried everything” to boost it.

He added that the biggest problem cited by small businesses is a lack of clients, rather than a lack of available credit.

(Draghi's opening statement can be read here)