Minister for Finance welcomes Credit Review Office latest report which shows a continued improvement in lending to SME sector
Lending to small firms by the country’s two main banks is continuing to improve, according to the third quarterly report from the Credit Review Office (CRO) published today.
The Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, on welcoming the report stated:
“The report shows encouraging signs that lending to the essential SME sector continues to improve. This Government highlighted the need to ensure that small businesses can access credit so that jobs are protected. The Government set lending targets of €3 billion a year lending by both AIB and Bank of Ireland. John Trethowan, the Credit Reviewer is monitoring the bank’s commitment to these targets and I am please that the report confirms that both AIB and Bank of Ireland have met their commitments to date.
The Government, through the CRO, is sustaining pressure on our banks to deliver on the strong commitments given in their plans to support viable SMEs in all sectors of the economy and in every corner of the country. I welcome the fact that no region or industry has been disproportionately impacted by the reduction in lending since 2010.
As John Trethowan indicates in his report the CRO is here to help any viable business to gain access to funding for capital investment in fixed assets, as well as for additional working capital for trading.
I pleased that Mr. Trethowan is to seek information on the amount of “new” money being sanctioned. While a key role of the banks relates to the restructuring of existing debt to ensure the debt is sustainable to assist many businesses to survive, we require more information on the amounts of new monies being advanced.
While I understand the environment for lending remains challenging I urge any business who feels they have been unjustly declined credit by their bank to get in contact with the Credit Review Office.”
Key Features of the report:
Banks have reiterated their commitment to support the domestic SME sector
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11th February, 2011