Banks must invest and provide more credit -- minister
Published 26/03/2011 | 05:00
THE banks have not been helping small firms and need to start playing their part if the economy is to recover, according to the new Minister for Small Business, John Perry.
Speaking to the Irish Independent yesterday, he said taxpayers had pumped billions into the country's lenders and it was now time for the banks to reciprocate by providing more credit to small and medium enterprises.
"As we speak, a lot of viable businesses are closing though a lack of foresight from the banks.
"The state has put billions into them and you would assume the banks would then invest in the real economy and that jobs wouldn't be lost.
"The state has an obligation to taxpayers, and the banks haven't fulfilled their obligation by providing credit.
"As well as the outright refusal of credit, the banks are taking too long to make their decision.
"The code of banking should be amended to ensure a timeframe and a reason for refusal -- the banks should provide an answer to an application within 28 days and if they refuse it, the reasons for the refusal should be given."
Mr Perry went on to defend the reversal of the minimum wage cut -- something that had sparked fury among business leaders. "The minimum wage is not the issue, the Joint Labour Committees are the issue for most companies. Employers need to be able to reduce cost in line with the size of their business, but not at the expense of the minimum wage."