Bank of Ireland announces a significant increase of 18% in new lending approvals for SMEs of €1.9 billion in the first half of 2013


  • €1.9 billion of new lending approved in the first half of 2013
  • 18% increase in approvals  year on year – compared to H1 2012  (Figures are for new and increased approvals and exclude restructured facilities)
  • More than 1,000 new loan applications received from SMEs each week
  • 84% of applications are being approved by Bank of Ireland
  • 50% of all new and increased non-property lending approvals for SMEs in the first half of 2013 was provided by Bank of Ireland
  • Strong momentum reflects the Bank’s drive for business and some increase in demand from the market as a whole

15 July, 2013:  Bank of Ireland today announced a significant increase in new lending approvals for SMEs for the first half of 2013.  A total of €1.9 billion in new and increased lending was approved during the first half of the year, representing a significant 18% increase on the same period in 2012.  The Bank’s figures are for new and increased lending approvals only and exclude restructured facilities.

Commenting, Mark Cunningham, Director of Business Banking, Bank of Ireland said:  “Bank of Ireland has the capital, liquidity and infrastructure to support one of its key strategic objectives, as approved by its shareholders and the European Commission, to further develop and grow its SME business in Ireland.  The provision of new and increased credit is a vital component of the Bank’s strategy for this sector as we grow our revenues through providing products and services which SME businesses and their owners want and need.  Whilst we clearly have more to do, these figures show that we are making progress.”  According to our own internal analysis of Central Bank data, we are providing almost 50% of all non-property lending to SMEs in Ireland.  The momentum we have developed since Q4 of 2012 is very encouraging and reflects a sustained effort on the part of the Bank and signs of increased demand from SMEs.  

  • On average more than 1,000 loan applications are received on a weekly basis
  • The Bank is currently approving 84% of all applications
  • Continued strong growth is evident from the agriculture, motor, general trading businesses and micro businesses.
    • The agriculture sector has shown the strongest demand for new lending in the first half of 2013. Funding for land purchases continues as a key driver. The Bank is very focused on supporting this sector and has dedicated agricultural specialists and loan funds.
    • The motor market overall is down 20% year on year. However, early indications of July 132 plates are promising.  The Bank’s position in the motor market has been strengthened considerably due to new franchise arrangements in 2013.
    • Outside of agriculture and motor we are seeing a strong uplift in the demand for credit from the manufacturing and hospitality sectors and moderate growth in other trading businesses

Mark Cunningham commented further “Our growth objectives for the SME sector are also very important in the context of the overall economy given the vital role which SMEs are playing in the recovery and growth of the domestic economy.

Through trained staff in our nationwide branch network and sector specialist teams, our online capabilities and specifically focussed activities, including our most recent 8th National Enterprise Week held in May, we are engaging with existing and potential customers and their advisers to learn how best we can meet the needs of customers, deploying our considerable resources to doing so and meeting our objectives.

Our focus for the second half of 2013 is to build on the momentum we have achieved in our business in the first half and have been seeing in the domestic economy as a whole.”


Contact:  Anne Mathews, Media Relations Manager on 00353 87 246 0358