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Wednesday 31 May 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Credit Review Office chief John Trethowan. Photo: PA
# Optimism
Banks not withholding credit from SMEs - report
AIB and BOI submit SME lending plans.

THE FIRST REPORT from the Credit Review Office (CRO) says that banks are not holding credit back from SMEs. Head of the CRO, John Trethowan, said that after two difficult recession years, many SMEs and farms had eroded their business capital leaving banks with diffiicult decisions on the level or risk they should assume.

Mr Trethowan said that there was evidence of a lack of experience among staff in banks who had to help SMEs to complete their loan applications, but he found no “policy or guideline” to suggest banks were withholding credit from these businesses.

Separately, BOI and AIB published plans proposing to lend €6 billion over the next two years to SMEs. The plans have been submitted to Brian Lenihan’s office as per NAMA requirements, and they have been reviewd by Mr Trethowan from the CRO.

The CRO was set up by Minister Brian Lenihan in March to check that the credit system is operating effectively for SMEs, including sole traders and farmers. Since its launch, the CRO website has had 2,650 visits from 2,029 different users.