Monday, October 08 14:23:14
With only three primary players on the credit market, small and medium-sized businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to acquire the credit they need, according to the Credit Review Office.
Today, the Credit Review Office published its ninth quarterly review, highlighting its activities since the publication of its last report in June as well as providing commentary on the current state of the SME sector.
The report concluded that with only three active players - Ulster Bank, AIB and BOI - providing loans to Irish SME's and farms, and little prospect of a new entrant given current market conditions, their actions will have to be closely monitored by regulators.
Tightening lending policies have reduced the number of sanctioned loans, and in the face of global crop failures spiking input prices the Irish agricultural sector is in urgent need of financial support, the report claimed.
"Over the past three months the Credit Review Office has received 36 eligible applications from SME's who have been refused Credit by AIB and Bank of Ireland; the two pillar banks," said John Trethowan of the Credit Review Office, who argued it is vital that SME and farm owners do not feel dissuaded from applying for credit either through the comments or actions of a few bank frontline staff, or by negative commentaries in the media.
It is hoped that a standardisation of load application information will lead to a shortening of the lending process.
"Hopefully this standardisation of loan application information, will lead to a shortening of the lending process. All of the trade bodies express frustration at the length of time it is taking to access credit, with too many serial requests for more information from banks," the Credit Review Office said in a press release.