Belfast Telegraph

Finance Ministers meet to discuss banking issues – Wilson

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Finance and Personnel

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson met today with the Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan to discuss a number of ongoing banking issues

Speaking ahead of the meeting in Dublin Sammy Wilson said: “Access to finance, particularly for our Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), is an ongoing issue for all of us and I want to discuss with Minister Noonan how we might work together to keep the pressure on the banks to ensure that businesses can access the finance they need.

“I also want to discuss progress in the ongoing restructuring of the banking system in the South and the impact of this on the Northern Ireland operations of the Irish owned banks. We will also touch on the operation of the Ulster Bank that conducts business in both jurisdictions. ”

Acknowledging the role that NAMA continues to play the Minister added: “I meet regularly with Frank Daly, NAMA Chairman and members of the Northern Ireland Advisory Committee and note that the Agency’s Annual Report confirms that it is making good progress on its targets. NAMA are continuing to develop and maintain a very a high profile in Northern Ireland and I welcome that the Agency’s various schemes including vendor finance and lending for debtors are available. However after more recent decisions made by NAMA, some concerns about its operations are now being raised by businesses in Northern Ireland.”

Concluding the Minister said: “I will also be very interested to hear more about the Irish Government’s ‘warehousing’ plans for tackling the personal debt crisis. The property problems being experienced in Northern Ireland are very similar to those in the South and I have expressed my views on a number of occasions with HM Treasury that this is an initiative that it should consider implementing in Northern Ireland.”

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