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Bank lending

Loan refusals for businesses at the lowest in four years

The ISME survey found that delays in decision making by banks has improved with the average wait down to four weeks from the five.

GOOD NEWS FOR small and medium enterprises as latest survey shows there has been an increase in demand and an improvement in availability of bank credit, the best results in four years.

According to the latest ISME Quarterly Bank Watch Survey, the delays in decision making by banks has improved with the average wait down to four weeks from the previous five.

The survey also found that 44 per cent of companies who applied for funding in the last three months were refused credit by their banks, but this is actually an improvement on the 52 per cent in the previous quarter.

Two in every five respondents had requested additional or new bank facilities in the last three months, showing an increase on the 35 per cent in the previous quarter.

However, only 13 per cent of initial bank decisions were made within one week, a slight decease from the 15 per cent in the previous quarter.

Mark Fielding, ISME, CEO said the headline results of the survey were positive and “hopefully are the start of a trend back to ‘normal’ banking”.

However, the fact that both interest and charges are increasing across the board emphasises the fact that we must maintain a close eye on the bankers in the reduced market, with only two and a half main banks servicing the SME sector.

Over 1,200 owner of SMEs responded to the survey, conducted in the week ending 7 June.

Read: Consumers ditching cheques and cash for debit cards>
More: ISME propose tax and social welfare amnesty for black market operators>

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