Results of the Survey of Small Enterprises’ Financial Literacy


Between March and May 2021, the Banco de España analysed, via a survey, Spanish small enterprises’ financial literacy. This initiative is part of an OECD project.

The financial literacy (financial knowledge, attitudes and behaviour) of the owners of businesses with up to 49 employees, the ownership of financial instruments, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on these enterprises' activity and level of digitalisation were all measured via the survey.

Here are the main results:

  • Spanish enterprises with up to 19 employees are less financially literate and tend to set long-term financial goals less than owners of businesses with 20-49 employees.

Based on their financial literacy level, Spanish small enterprises compare favourably with other developed countries.

  • Spanish small enterprises make limited use of capital instruments and business interruption insurance.
  • The health crisis had less of an adverse impact on employment and liquidity at those enterprises whose owners have an above-average level of financial literacy. Furthermore, the more financially literate enterprises were more likely to apply for and be granted a new loan or benefit from a government guarantee.
  • Furlough schemes (ERTE by their Spanish initials) were used across the board, irrespective of financial literacy level.
  • Less financially literate enterprises received more income transfers and made greater use of rental moratoria.
  • There is a positive relationship between financial literacy and a higher level of digitalisation at the enterprise before the pandemic. However, for the time being no correlation between financial literacy and an increase in digital activities after COVID-19 has been observed.

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