Tarun Sridhar

Tarun Sridhar is an operation analyst for the SME Finance Forum. He works on the organization of the Global SME Finance Forum event, and provides research support on publications of the Forum. He holds a law degree from the University of East Anglia and a master’s degree in Public Policy from American University. In addition to this, Tarun has diverse experiences in law, policy, data analysis, business development, and project management.

Matt Gamser

Matthew Gamser is the outgoing CEO of the SME Finance Forum. He has over 35 years’ experience in private enterprise and financial sector development. He has worked for IFC for 10 years in various positions, including heading the advisory services for the financial sector in East Asia-Pacific (from Hong Kong). Prior to IFC he worked for 25 years in the private sector in management consulting and technology/small scale industry development. He holds A.B. and A.M. degrees from Harvard University, and M.Sc. and D.Phil degrees from Sussex University (UK), where his work focused on the management of technological change.

Member Pulse Survey #6 on the Impact of COVID-19 - September

Sep 17, 2020
Member Pulse Survey #6 on the Impact of COVID-19 - September

It’s been 6 months since we sent out the first pulse survey to our members, and with every month we continue to better understand the state of our members and, by proxy, their SME clients. This month, we had 58 respondents from 42 countries, while the consistent respondent sample, recorded over a four-month period (June-September) consists of 22 respondents from 17 countries.

Trends that appear significant seem consistent whether we compare our entire monthly samples, or whether we look at same institutions reporting month-on-month.

Some members find themselves in a better position this month - more are reporting gain in customers (up by 16 percentage points since last month). Slightly fewer members reporting decline in sales – we will have to wait to see if this is a start of a declining trend.   On the other side of the coin, the percentage of members reporting Asset Impairment remains relatively high. However, this increase is mostly driven by members from Sub-Saharan Africa.


There are no significant changes with respect to closure, but the trend remains generally positive. Though we see a slight increase in members reporting extensive closure since last month.

More members are reporting that their governments’ responses are likely to help their clients – reversing the negative trend we observed prior to September.

In relation to lending, more members are reporting a slight or significant impact on portfolio – 87% of sample. Nevertheless, the trend of members lending to new and existing customers continues.


Regarding moratoria, more members are reporting the imposition of a blanket moratoria as opposed to case by case. In addition, it seems that timelines are gradually being extended for both mandatory and voluntary moratoria.

The impact on our members’ business are largely been more positive and this is reflected in their optimism for next month. Positive trend is continuing with respect to revenue, customers, and lending. At least 80% of the sample expects to have the same or more revenue, number of customers, and lending next month.

Lastly, the trend of our members’ expected fate of their SME clients is slightly reversing from the growing optimism in the past few months. The positive trend remains among the consistent respondent sample.

Read full report here>