BoI approved €5.3bn of business credit in 2015
Bank of Ireland approved €5.3bn in new credit to Irish businesses during 2015, which was 18pc more than it did in 2014. It excludes credit advanced as part of restructuring.
The motor trade, as well as nursing home operators and retail owners drove a big chunk of the lending.
The bank - which is 14pc owned by the State - said that it received almost 66,000 credit applications last year. That was 8pc more than in 2014. It said that 88pc of the applications received in 2015 were approved. That figure was up 18pc on 2014.
"Businesses are beginning to expand and invest, and this is beginning to be reflected in increased demand for term loans," said Mark Cunningham, managing director of business banking at Bank of Ireland.
"We expect this trend to continue as the overall outlook for 2016 is positive, with a number of indicators pointing to sustained improvement in the general economy, including higher consumer spending, continued employment gains and increased business investment," he added.
In the motor trade, Bank of Ireland Finance saw its new business volumes grow by 40pc across its franchise partners in the motor trade, who account for more than 50pc of the market.
Mr Cunningham said that the bank also recorded a strong start to 2016 in the segment.
Loans to the retail sector have gained traction as consumer spending improves on the back of reduced unemployment and higher disposable incomes.
Mr Cunningham said that the development and expansion of nursing homes also accelerated last year.
Bank of Ireland credit approvals to the agri sector were up 7pc last year at €665m.