Ireland's Covid-19 business loans 'paltry compared with UK response'

Lending schemes to small firms backed by the Government during the Covid-19 crisis have been “paltry” compared with those of the UK and a lot more will be required, Goodbody chief economist Dermot O’Leary has said.
Ireland's Covid-19 business loans 'paltry compared with UK response'
Goodbody chief economist Dermot O’Leary said that its analysis showed that Irish Government-backed business loan schemes for SMEs trail way behind those offered by the UK

Lending schemes to small firms backed by the Government during the Covid-19 crisis have been “paltry” compared with those of the UK and a lot more will be required, Goodbody chief economist Dermot O’Leary has said.

Since the onset of the crisis business groups have warned that Ireland’s response to the economic crisis in the range of business supports is marked by the absence of credit-guarantee schemes as introduced by other European countries, including the UK and Switzerland.

Mr O’Leary said that its analysis showed that Irish Government-backed business loan schemes for SMEs trail way behind those offered by the UK government which has pumped £31bn (€34.8bn) in loans to UK firms, including its Bounce Back Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

“Lending to SMEs in Ireland has been paltry under Government schemes; more support will be required,” he said.

“Scaling the lending done in the UK, this would potentially result in lending of €3.4bn,” Mr O’Leary said, adding that business group Isme has found that “less than €75m has found its way to SMEs” under existing Government-supported credit schemes here.

“The UK experience suggests that banks may be unwilling to lend to businesses in this environment, even with an 80% government-guarantee,” Mr O’Leary said.

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