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Firms refused credit

MORE than half of small firms have been refused credit from their bank in the past three months.

The research is contrary to claims in a recent Credit Review Office report that a lack of demand for loans means AIB and Bank of Ireland will be unlikely to meet their lending targets to small firms this year.

But small business group ISME said there is still a strong demand from small firms, as outlined in their own survey.

The ISME bank watch survey found that 58pc of companies who made an application to their banks in the last three months were refused credit compared to 54pc in the previous quarter.