Credit Reviewer calls for appeals threshold increase

John Trethowan says response times by banks and lenders to credit applications still an issue

Credit Reviewer John Trethowan has called for an extension to the limit at which SMEs can appeal refusals for credit. Photo: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Credit Reviewer John Trethowan has called for an extension to the limit at which SMEs can appeal refusals for credit. Photo: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 09:38

The Credit Reviewer has called for an extension to the limit at which SMEs can appeal refusals for credit.

In his 11th report from the Credit Review Office, John Trethowan expressed concerns on the small number of active banks and other lenders currently supplying new credit to the SME market.

Mr Trethowan said he has requested the upper threshold for appeals be increased to €3 million, because many of the refinancing requests exceeded the current Credit Review Office limit of €500,000.

He said the microenterprise loan scheme, which provided funding up to €25,000, had been a helpful introduction. However, there was still a significant gap between this €25,000 and the €750,000 where angel finance, private equity and venture funding becomes cost effective.

He said response times by banks and lenders to credit applications were still an issue that needed to be addressed.

“Borrowers also need to understand that the business/banking world has changed, and that quality business plans and up to date financial information and other information properly presented are a prerequisite to applying for credit,” he added.

AIB and Bank of Ireland are sanctioned with providing €4 billion each in SME finance this year.

Since the establishment of the Credit Review Office, a number of appeals have been upheld, resulting in €16.8 million credit being made available to SMEs and farms.