ISME concerned at lack of credit for SMEs
The latest quarterly bank watch survey issued by the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association has confirmed there has been 'a significant deterioration in the number of businesses who successfully accessed credit from their banks in the last quarter.'
According to the survey 79pc of firms outlined that banks are making it more difficult for SMEs to access finance, a deterioration on the 68pc in the previous quarter.
It also found that 48pc of companies who applied for funding in the last three months were refused credit by their banks, compared to 33pc in the previous quarter.
ISME said the figures are alarming and indicate that the issue of bank credit remains a serious problem for the economy, with little or no improvement in the last two years.
It also said the results confirm the number of applications for credit 'remains muted', mainly due to general economic uncertainty and a perception that the banks will not entertain their credit requests.
According to ISME Chief Executive, Mark Fielding, “the results clearly indicate that despite assertions to the contrary from the banks, access to bank credit has deteriorated. It is quite clear that the previous administration’s instructions to open up lines of credit to business have patently been ignored by the banks. ‘Nothing new there’.
"The new government must take a much stronger position with ‘bailed out’ bank management and insist on their compliance with instructions.”
ISME said the survey, which was conducted in week ending 11th March, attracted 1026 responses and provides a strong indication of the current SME lending environment.