AIB approved €9bn of lending in year to the end of August
AIB approved €9bn of loans in the first eight months of the year, backing 95pc of all small and medium enterprises' (SME) credit applications, according to chief executive Bernard Byrne.
Speaking at the Dublin Chamber of Commerce annual dinner last night, the newly-appointed AIB chief said the current economic momentum means the accelerated lending trend will continue to increase through the remainder of the year.
By comparison the bank had approved just €5bn of loans in the first 10 months of 2014.
AIB's 'Backing Brave' initiative, launched a year ago, and which aims to complete the approvals process for business loans of up to €30,000 within 48 hours, has received over 14,000 applications to date, he said.
Almost half of loan applications are now made online, he said.
Mr Byrne revealed the figures in a speech at the Convention Centre in Dublin.
The Chamber of Commerce's dinner is the biggest event of its kind in the capital city's business calendar.
The bank's financial performance is improving to the extent that it will be "paying a very sizeable chunk of capital back to the State in the not too distant future," he said. "The Minister for Finance will determine when and how the Bank will return more capital to the State through an Initial Public Offering but you can be assured that we will be ready, when he makes that decision," he said.
Mr Byrne said that, in time, taxpayers will be in a position to get back all of the money the State invested in AIB.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Chamber president Greg Clarke of Digicom also addressed the high-powered audience where Jo Malone, the woman behind a million scented candles and a globally successful perfume empire, was the guest speaker.
Londoner Jo Malone MBE shared her insights into growing a global business that was launched originally from her kitchen table and which she built into a global partnership with perfume giant Estee Lauder.
Having left the Jo Malone brand, the serial entrepreneur has now launched Jo Lover.
Meanwhile, to coincide with the Chamber of Commerce event, AIB launched its MyBusinessToolkit product for SMEs.
The Toolkit offers a discounted package of cloud-based business and accounting apps such as Sage to help customers start, manage and grow their business.