Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Quarter of loan appeals approved

Finance Minister Michael Noonan hopes relations between banks and small companies are improving
Finance Minister Michael Noonan hopes relations between banks and small companies are improving

About a quarter of business loan applications denied by the banks were successful on appeal, a new report has revealed.

Allied Irish Banks (AIB) and Bank of Ireland between them overturned 95 decisions to refuse a borrower credit, out of a total of 385 appeals, the independent lending review showed.

A separate finance report also found more than two-thirds of loan and overdraft applications by small businesses this year were approved.

Despite claims that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are struggling to secure credit, 70% of those that had applied to banks between April and September were successful.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the report will deepen understanding of relations between banks and small companies. He added: "The results of this survey will be a valuable resource in informing policy decisions in this area and will be of benefit to all."

The report, commissioned by the Department of Finance, showed that only 36% of the 1,506 businesses surveyed applied for a loan or overdraft facility.

Analysis of appeals, by the Credit Review Office from April 2010 to October this year, showed AIB overturned 84 of its refusals to SMEs out of 216 appeals while Bank of Ireland granted only 11 of its original refusals out of a total 169 appeals.

John Trethowan, credit review officer, said: "I remain mindful that the existence of the Credit Review Office is a symptom of banking and general business systems which have not yet returned to normality.

"The Credit Review Office is not to be viewed as a permanent feature and it will be a measure of success of the recovery of the economy when it can be stood down."

Demand for credit has also dropped from two years ago, the Department of Finance revealed, when 52% of respondents in a similar survey made an application.

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