Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs and Enterprise Dara Calleary has said the 13th report of the Credit Review Office highlights the needs for a State bank to support SMEs.
Deputy Calleary said: “This report is another clear warning to the government that not enough is being done to support existing viable business, putting more and more jobs in danger.”
The Credit Review Office report specifically points out that “the market for SME/ Farm Loans has become highly concentrated and the relative lack of competition is not conducive to raising the low risk appetite of the banks which is required to support the needs of the real economy and the recovery.”
Deputy Calleary said: “Today’s report also points out that the majority of the appeal requests for credit coming before it are now for “working capital increases and for business investment.” This is proof that more businesses are looking to expand and invest in their own future but are being held back by a lack of credit. With nearly 70% of workers in the private sector currently employed by SMEs, the Government simply cannot afford to take its eye of the ball. Minister Richard Bruton needs to ensure new funding streams for SMEs are delivered. They are essential to our economic recovery.
“It is clear the banks are still not lending and the schemes the Government has come up with, namely the micro-finance scheme and the credit guarantee scheme, are not working. The micro-finance scheme, for example, is almost 60% below target.
“Viable businesses are being refused credit by so-called pillar banks that have not stepped up to the mark. The lack of support available to SMEs is forcing many to lay-off staff or close their doors entirely. This is the 13th report from John Trethowan as head of the Credit Review Office; the warnings being sounded must be heard, acted upon and taken seriously by Minister Bruton and the government.”