Sunday 25 February 2018

Government handling of banks crisis causes business anger

Mark Fielding, CEO of ISME. Photo: Tom Burke
Mark Fielding, CEO of ISME. Photo: Tom Burke
Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

BUSINESSES have become more dissatisfied with the Government's performance, with the handling of the banking crisis driving the anger.

Ratings of more than 1,100 small and medium enterprises compiled by lobby group ISME shows that the Government's handling of the banking crisis has angered firms the most.

ISME chief Mark Fielding said the "cavalier" attitude shown by bankers before the Oireachtas Finance Committee and the "utter disdain" displayed by the bailed-out banks to the economy.

And the body warned more must be done to tackle high business costs.

"All costs including public sector and legacy business costs must be benchmarked against our immediate international competitors," he said.

"We must also expose sheltered sectors to greater competition and ensure greater access to bank credit for SME business."

The overall satisfaction rating has fallen to -42 from -38, while micro-enterprises at -50 are the least satisfied and the hospitality sector have dropped even further at -75.

The satisfaction on the jobs initiative is the only area to show improvement, rising fractionally from -44 to -43.

The banking score, having stayed static for two quarters, has deteriorated to -76, the worst rating since the start of the survey in the summer of 2012.

Satisfaction with business costs have fallen to -71 from -69, with the smallest enterprises affected the most.

Hospitality and distribution are the sectors most negative about costs, according to the survey.

Impressions of the troika have also become more negative, reflecting fears about the Budget.

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