The latest SME Credit Demand Survey published by the Department of Finance overnight has found that credit demand and supply have increased over the past twelve months.
The survey, first carried out when there was a view within the business community that the Irish banks were not “open for business”, has shown a continuous improvement in perceptions on this front over recent years. The latest survey for the period March 2018 continues this trend.
The survey found that the percentage of SMEs that believe the banks are lending increased from 45% to 61% while 55% of SMEs believe the business climate will improve over the next six months, up from 47% in March 2017. Demand for credit improved for the second consecutive quarter and the percentage of companies reporting a profit rose for the fifth consecutive year to 64%.
Furthermore, 88% of credit applications were approved, up from 85% in the previous survey.
According to Goodbody Stockbrokers, "The survey provides further evidence that the positive economic environment is creating opportunities for SMEs to invest and expand their businesses. It also shows that banks’ willingness to lend appears to be at the highest level in the postcrisis period. Both findings bode well for ongoing economic growth in Ireland over the coming twelve months."