Department is 'reviewing' role of clearing group
THE Department of Enterprise has confirmed it is "reviewing" the role of the multi-disciplinary Credit Supply Clearing Group which was unveiled last summer.
The group was originally charged with "stabilising the banking sector", "ensuring the banks meet their commitments" on SME lending, "identifying areas where credit appears blocked" and "working to find viable solutions for those areas".
In January, the Irish Independent reported that the group had met just four times and had been used by just 12 small and medium-sized businesses.
No reports have been published by the clearing group's five working groups, though sources confirm several detailed reports have been completed. The Department said the recently established Credit Review Office had "subsumed" many of the funds of the original clearing group. "The minister is now reviewing the role of the Credit Supply Clearing Group," it added.
"Its future might be considered in the context of a need to establish a forum for a broadly based ongoing dialogue with small business."
The Financial Regulator has also begun actively monitoring banks' SME lending.