Arrears hold back SMEs

SMALL and medium-sized businesses are being held back by the amount of mortgage arrears in the State, the president of the Irish Banking Federation has outlined.

The huge number of loans in arrears mean banks are hampered from lending to SMEs, John Reynolds said. "In effect, loans in arrears utilise scarce capital to the detriment of other lending, such as SME finance and new house purchase," he added.