Small business loans - Banks must do more

While bankers squabble, companies go to the wall.

That’s the reality of the controversy surrounding Ireland’s status as having the second lowest approval level for small business loan applications in the eurozone — just ahead of Greece.

If this dubious distinction was solely from ISME, the group representing small to medium enterprises, the banks might be forgiven for issuing a downright denial. But the fact that the finding is in a report from the Central Bank shows the issue in a new and glaring light.

The problem facing the banks is that they have an enormous credibility gap. Due to unbridled greed, some bankers played a major role in destroying the economy and bringing the Irish people to their knees.

Like it or not, the banks have also gained a reputation of not giving loans to small businesses despite receiving EU finance for that purpose. Rather than simply reject this negative image, the best course of action for the banks is not merely to claim they are giving loans to small companies, but to be seen as doing so.


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