IBF chief slams bank lending report

IBF chief slams bank lending report

There has been an angry reaction to a report on Irish banks' lending record published today.

The research claims that our banks are second only to their Greek counterparts when it comes to the amount of business loan applications they're turning down.

In response this morning, the Irish Banking Federation has pointed to a series of reports which pointed to a more favourable rate of loan approvals.

IBF Chief Executive Pat Farrell says he's concerned that people could get the wrong idea about banks from the findings of today's report.

"Of course they're open for business. It just reinforces the notion that has been out there before from particular elements that says don't go to your bank for credit because you won't get it.

"If you drive that message hard enough and consistently enough, guess what, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy."

The report by Central Bank economists shows over one in four businesses seeking a loan or overdraft have been turned down in the six months to March - that compares to one in 28 in Germany, and is double the average in the euro area.

Chairman of the Small Firms Association Ian Martin says bank managers often can't understand what it's like in the business world, because they haven't worked there: "They may have read it in textbooks and have had experience of it but they have never worked in that market place.

"There is a total different mindset. When you're running an SME company, you think about your business seven days a week, 24 hours a day. You bring it home with you and if the bank manager refuses that credit and pulls down the shutters on a Friday evening, he doesn't think about it until Monday morning."

Commenting on today's report, the Irish Hotels Federation (IHF) stated that Irish hotels continue to face unjustifiable difficulties in accessing appropriate levels of credit from financial institutions.

Citing recent findings from its quarterly industry barometer (July 2012), the IHF said that 39% of hoteliers have experienced difficulties accessing standard/normal credit facilities from their banks over the last year.

“Access to credit continues to pose a major challenge for many of our members,” says IHF chief executive Tim Fenn.

“The Government must do more to ensure banks facilitate the economy by supplying much needed credit to viable businesses. This is of particular concern to hotel and guesthouse owners who require access to appropriate levels of credit not only to run their businesses but so they can continue to invest in their product.”


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