It's time for Government to back small businesses
Farmers will welcome the news that the IFA has challenged the Government on bank lending and the manner in which financial institutions are dealing with customers.
The IFA has come together with the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI), Irish Property Owners Association (IPOA) and RGDATA to highlight the weakness of current lending and credit arrangements for small businesses and farmers.
At a press briefing yesterday, the business alliance claimed banks were imposing unreasonable conditions on customers who were seeking to refinance loans.
The business group called on the Government and Central Bank to ensure that engagement between these enterprises and the banking sector was undertaken with the primary objective of retaining the viability of the core business and keeping people in employment.
A reasonable request, one would suspect.
At yesterday's press conference, the group also outlined a protocol for the banks. The group's key demands were:
* Banks must seek resolutions that preserve the viability of the underlying business and maintain employment;
* For all negotiations, a clearly identified point of contact in the bank must be agreed, who has responsibility for delivering a sustainable solution acceptable to both parties;