Half of Irish SMEs cancel investment plans over Brexit

AIB research reveals ongoing impact of Brexit uncertainty

The survey highlights Irish SMEs’ concerns over Brexit.  Photograph: AP

The survey highlights Irish SMEs’ concerns over Brexit. Photograph: AP

 

Nearly half of SMEs in the Republic have cancelled or postponed investment plans because of Brexit, according to a survey by AIB.

The bank’s Brexit sentiment index found that half of SMEs in the Republic and over two-thirds in Northern Ireland that had planned to expand or invest in their business have either cancelled or postponed planned investment due to Brexit.

In line with this and given the continued uncertainty, businesses in the Republic continue to have negative outlook with 71 per cent concerned about their business’ future and 86 per cent foresee a negative impact for the wider economy. In the North, firms echo this sentiment where two in three (67 per cent) now have a negative outlook on the future of their business.

Borrowing

The research also shows that 14 per cent of SMEs in the Republic are postponing bank borrowing for capital investment while in the North there is reduced working capital demand (35 per cent) due to Brexit.

Catherine Moroney, head of business banking at AIB, said: “Of the businesses who had planned to invest we are seeing half of these cancelling or postponing their investment plans due to Brexit and this is translating into businesses also postponing bank borrowing for capital investment.”