Finance Committee to consider Central Bank study on SME lending

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform will consider today’s Central Bank report on bank lending to SMEs when it meets in September.

Committee Chairman Alex White TD commented: “In the light of conflicting statements and reports on the incidence of bank lending to small businesses, I am proposing to hold  Committee hearings on this issue in order as far as possible to establish the true position.

“It is striking that the Central Bank report has been so flatly rejected by the banking industry, and there is a need to get to the bottom of this controversy. I will propose that we hear from the Central Bank, and also from representatives of the commercial banks and the SME sector. We will also consider the Mazars report, commissioned by the Department of Finance.

“The availability of credit is essential to small business, and as the Committee responsible for the banking sector we are determined to ensure that there is a full airing of this issue, in the interests of all concerned.”