Spotlight on the client
In order to meet the new challenges of enterprise financing, Finnvera actively monitors changes in the economic situation and the international supply of financial services, as well as listens to customers’ wishes. We strive to identify and anticipate market failures and to increase Finland’s appeal as a business environment.
We want to encourage Finnish companies towards growth and internationalisation by providing internationally competitive instruments for export trade financing. With the help of our expertise and wide range of services, our goal is to provide the best possible customer experience. We measure customer satisfaction regularly by conducting client and stakeholder surveys.
During the period under review, Finnvera’s customer service was revised by concentrating expertise and reorganising operations. Some of the issues that used to be handled by regional offices were transferred to the Service Centre, which serves small business customers and, among other things, handles various change situations in clients’ financing. Growing and internationalising enterprises will also be served by a single, nationally operating team. Finnvera’s regional network was revised so that the current branch offices constitute larger regions than before.
Important additional authorisations for financing services
During 2014, Finnvera received important additional authorisations to participate in the financing of projects undertaken by both SMEs and export companies.
In summer, the Government authorised Finnvera to subscribe notes issued by SMEs up to the sum of EUR 300 million. Due to legislative amendments that entered into force, Finnvera also has better opportunities to participate in financial arrangements associated with the export transactions of Finnish enterprises, as the ceilings for financing export credit guarantees and export credits were raised substantially.
Through the SME Export Finance Programme, Finnvera provides information and practical tools for the financing of export trade. The programme is targeted at Finnish SMEs engaged in direct exports. By virtue of the legislative amendment that entered into force in autumn, even large Finnish industrial enterprises can receive export credit guarantees for long-term credits that are granted by banks and used for domestic investments in machinery or equipment, thereby creating or benefiting the export industry. The amendment puts the enterprises on an equal footing with their foreign competitors and improves Finnish companies’ equal competitive standing when offering their products for export-industry investments implemented in Finland.
The new and increased authorisations serve as the basis for credit and guarantee policy reforms, which were first applied at the start of 2015.
Finnvera also joined forces with Tekes and Finpro in the Team Finland LetsGrow financing programme, where a company can get a loan for investments and working capital from Finnvera, assistance for the acquisition of innovation services from Tekes, and advice for international growth from Finpro. Growth Track (Kasvuväylä) is a service model offered jointly by Tekes, the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Finnvera, Finpro, Finnish Industry Investment Ltd and the Finnish Patent and Registration Office for enterprises that pursue rapid growth and internationalisation. Each SME selected for Growth Track is given an account manager, a Growth Pilot, who finds the best suited public expertise and financing services for the company and coordinates cooperation between the various parties.
Finnvera at events
Apart from the broader financing opportunities, Finnvera serves its clients by taking an active part in events targeted at entrepreneurs. During 2014, Finnvera participated, for instance, to the following events:
- Kasvu Open
- Own Enterprise
- Trade financing for internationalising growth enterprises – Training event
- Responsible Summer Job 2014 campaign
- Subcontracting Trade Fair in Tampere
- ‘We Got Courage!’ tour
- Russia as a Trading Partner
- New Notes for Internationalisation
- Enterprise Days in Tampere
- ICC Trade Finance Day
The point of departure in Finnvera’s operations is transparency and the widest possible openness, as prescribed by law. Finnvera has an absolute statutory obligation to keep information on its clients confidential. In other words, information pertaining to a client’s or any other person’s identity, financial status, personal circumstances, and business or trade secrets may not be disclosed to outsiders without the client’s consent. Any matters and documents regarded as the company’s business secrets must also be kept confidential.
However, Finnvera is under the obligation to provide information for prosecutors and pretrial investigators to solve a crime, for the Board of Directors or Secretary-General of the State Guarantee Fund to manage the Fund’s duties, and for other authorities that by law have the right to receive information.