29th February 2012
Minister for Small Business, John Perry T.D., has today (Wednesday) asked businesses who are having difficulty, or have been refused, access to credit to contact the Credit Review Office (CRO) to have their case examined.
Minister Perry was speaking following the publication of the seventh quarterly report from John Trethowan of the Credit Review Office*.
“Small businesses are not just a vital part of our economy - they play a vital role in our society and local communities as well. That is why, as Minister for Small Business, I intend to continue to ensure that the business environment is supportive of them.
“The issue of access to credit for small businesses is a matter of priority and is explicitly addressed in the Action Plan for Jobs in the context of the Micro-enterprise Loan Fund and the Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme and in the range of actions listed to encourage and measure bank lending.”
Minister Perry welcomed the fact that the decision to refuse credit in 54% of cases reviewed by the CRO had been reversed. “This is good news as access to finance can mean the difference between survival or failure for many viable new start-ups and existing small businesses.
“The Mazars Survey on credit demand published by the Department of Finance late last year showed that only 36% of SMEs sought bank finance in the period April to September 2011, and that fewer still (24%) expect to seek bank finance in the next six months. The survey showed that ‘78% of cases where the application was declined, the applicant did not agree with the reasons that the bank gave for turning down the application’.
“The Credit Review Office is a vital service for SMEs to ensure that businesses with existing or future potential viability can get access to credit.
“But banks can only lend when they receive a credit request. So I am calling on businesses to take advantage of the service provided by the CRO if they are experiencing difficulty in obtaining loans or accessing credit.
“Banks must also play their part. The two pillar banks are obliged to inform eligible customers, of the Credit Review Office service, to alert them of their right to appeal credit decisions they are not happy with. It is now up to the banks to recognise their full responsibilities to the State and to actively support small businesses who are driving forward recovery in the real economy.”
For further information please contact:
Sinéad Fennell, Communications Advisor to Minister Perry 086 6075266
Roisin McCann, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation: 631 2200, firstname.lastname@example.org