Lending to small firms up – Government report

19 Nov 2010

Lending to small firms by Ireland’s main banks is improving, according to a Government-published report.

In the second quarterly report published by the Central Review Office, it analysed 19 applications for loans by small firms and the country’s two main banks were told that credit should have been give in five of them.

The report shows that the two banks covered under the Government’s recapitalisation plan, Allied Irish Banks and Bank of Ireland, have processed 114 internal reviews of decisions on loan applications.

Encouraging signs

The Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan TD, and the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe TD, said the CRO’s second quarterly report showed encouraging signs of progress on credit lending for small businesses.

The Government acknowledged the number of completed reviews was small but it welcomed the full co-operation of the banks with the recommendations of the CRO when it went against the original decisions on loan applications.

O’Keeffe said securing steady credit flow to SMEs was a “prerequisite for job creation and economic recovery”.

The Government is currently involved in intensive meetings with the IMF and EU representatives to discuss a financial rescue package following the Government’s handling of the economic crisis.