Review agency hampered by lack of requests
JOHN Trethowan is the man tasked with getting the banks back lending to small business, a task that has turned out to be much tougher than expected.
The 56-year-old former Northern Bank executive was last December called back by the government to head the Credit Review Office (CRO), which was set up as part of the legislation that created the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).
The CRO's remit is relatively straightforward. It can review credit applications that have been refused by banks participating in NAMA and can overturn the bank's own decision to refuse an application.
To that end, Mr Trethowan has 10 retired bankers who are employed to review applications.
So far the returns have been disappointing, with only 20 applications being made to the agency since it came into force six months ago. About half have been overturned by the CRO.