Tuesday 19 September 2017

Banks taking too long to lend: ISME

ISME CEO: Mark Fielding
ISME CEO: Mark Fielding
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Business group ISME has criticised what it says are delays in bank lending decisions that are hindering the ability of firms to take advantage of the economic upturn.

In its latest quarterly ‘Bank Watch’ survey, ISME said that while demand for bank lending has hit its highest level in eight years, the delays in bank decisions have lengthened, causing problems for small and medium-sized firms that are ready to expand and develop their businesses.

ISME said that 29pc of applications made by businesses for funding were outstanding during the survey period, compared to 2pc in the previous quarter.

It added that just 15pc of bank decisions were made within one week, a decrease from 23pc during the previous three month period.

On average, the time it took for a bank to make a decision was just over four weeks during the last quarter, largely unchanged from the previous survey. But the wait to drawn down funds increased from three weeks to four weeks.

“Businesses cannot be kept on the long finger by banks who do not have sufficient lending expertise available to manage the increase in demand by SMEs,” said ISME chief executive Mark Fielding.

Mr Fielding claimed that banks don’t have enough sufficiently trained staff.

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