Clune Urges Supports For SMEs
|Calls have been made for the Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan to ensure the domestic banking sector adopts a pro-enterprise policy towards small and medium-sized businesses towards economic recovery.
Fine Gael Innovation Spokeswoman Deirdre Clune questioned representatives of Chambers Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the Central Bank and the large Irish Banks in light of the recent Mazars Report on Lending to Small & Medium Enterprises.
"Irish banks, both those in domestic and foreign ownership, have over the last decade allowed themselves to be blinded by the property market," she said.
"Now that property profits have turned to losses, Irish banks need to re-focus on supporting viable Irish businesses and not retreat into a position where they refuse to lend to any business, regardless of viability."
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Ms Clune continued: "The Irish economy will not be able to begin the long road back to economic recovery without a major shift in the focus of Irish banking. Our banks have been badly stung by an overreliance on property related lending.
"In response to this some banks have stepped back from lending to any firm. This is having a devastating impact on small & medium Irish enterprises and their employees."
Earlier this year Fine Gael launched an 18 point plan to support small businesses and create jobs.
"Now is the time for the Government and all the banks operating in Ireland to follow this lead and prioritise support for small and medium Irish businesses," said the TD.
"This is not only the first step on our road to economic recovery but it is also the first step to building an economy not dependent on unstable property prices or foreign-owned companies, but indigenous Irish owned businesses built on solid foundations."
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