Bank of Ireland today (Tuesday 13 July 2010) welcomed the Minister for Finance’s approval of its SME plan, in which the Bank set out its clear objective to make a minimum of €3bn of lending available to Irish SMEs in each of 2010 and 2011 as a core part of its business strategy.
According to Mark Cunningham, Director, Bank of Ireland Business Banking: “We have no constraints on lending to viable SMEs. It is our intention to deliver growth across all sectors in the SME lending market throughout our branch network and specialist teams. Bank of Ireland reviews approximately 4,500 credit applications per month from new and existing SME customers and approves c. 80% of these.
“We have approved €1.7 billion in new/increased lending to SMEs to the end of June this year and we anticipate that this figure will increase over the second half of the year. A comprehensive programme in support of our growth strategy, including further training for existing staff and the recruitment of additional experienced business bankers, is already underway”, added Mark Cunningham.
The Bank acknowledge Mr John Trethowan’s comments on the Credit Review Process, and the suggestions detailed in his review, which it will build into its ongoing enhancement of its credit procedures. Bank of Ireland also confirmed that it willwork with customers to implement recommendations made by the Credit Review Office on individual cases. Bank of Ireland will liaise on progress with its plans with the Department of Finance and Mr Trethowan on a monthly basis and, following its recent re-capitalisation by the National Pension Reserve Fund Commission (NPRFC) and Private Investors, looks forward to continuing to play a key role in the return to growth of the Irish economy.
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