Small firms less hopeful for credit here than in UK
SENTIMENT among small and medium businesses in Northern Ireland is more aligned to the southern economy than the UK, a survey has revealed.
The cross-border study, carried out by Grant Thornton, showed that credit expectations in Northern Ireland tended to mirror attitudes south of the Border, rather than the UK.
Almost three-quarters of UK firms in the UK expect access to credit to increase in the coming year while only 28pc of firms in Northern Ireland expect a pickup. Nineteen per cent of firms in the Republic are expecting more access to credit in 2010.
"The findings would appear to support the theory that the problems in the banking sector in the south of the island have crossed into the Northern economy," said Colin Feely, a partner with Grant Thornton.
More than 69pc of UK firms felt that their lender was being supportive while the Republic and Northern Ireland came in at 52pc and 58pc respectively.