An article by ex-Apprentice contestant Joanna Murphy of ConnectIreland
Central Bank figures reveal truth of SME lending
Mark Fielding, ISME
A report from the Central Bank on SME lending in 2011 shows the actual new lending figure at €3.1 billion, which ISME has welcomed as reflecting reality.
The Central Bank report (Trends in Business Credit and Deposits) explains the discrepancies between its figures for all bank lending in the State and “the much higher figure referenced in the CRO report. The most significant factor is the treatment of restructured/renegotiated facilities”.
“We in the SME sector are sick and tired of the excuses constantly being issued by the Credit Review Office (CRO) on behalf of the banks, justifying the refusal of the banks to provide adequate lending facilities to their SME customers,” said ISME chief executive Mark Fielding.
“The reality is, and has been for a considerable period, that the banks are refusing lending facilities to the majority of SMEs and in turn are failing to meet the lending targets set down by Government.”
This Government must insist on the two bailed out banks hitting their target of €7 billion in ‘new and increased facilities to SMEs’ and not accept figures from the CRO, but rather use those from The Central Bank, Fielding argued.