Bank of Ireland approves €2.1bn in new loans to SMEs

23rd July 2014

The Bank of Ireland approved €2.1 billion worth of new loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ireland during the first six months of the year, according to official figures.
 
This figure is seven per cent higher than the government money that was loaned out in the same period last year.
 
The total is made up of new loans and increased facilities, and does not include restructurings of existing loan facilities.
 
Increased activity was noted in the agricultural business sectors, as well as the motor and property sectors, and the prospect was rather more promising for small firms looking to obtain credit.
 
More than 85 per cent of credit applications received from Irish SMEs in the year to end June were approved, the Bank said.
 
The Bank of Ireland is the largest provider of forecourt finance in the Irish market, with 14 franchise partnerships. It said there had been a strong uplift in the overall motor market, with growth of more than a quarter (28 per cent) in the first half of the year.
 
Meanwhile, last month, Allied Irish Banks (AIB) launched a new €200m fund for small firms looking to ramp up their exports.
 
A survey by AIB also revealed that exports accounted for almost 40 per cent of total SME turnover last year; a total of 65 per cent of respondents expect improved export sales in 2014, while a further 30 per cent plan to export to new markets this year.
 
The new fund will support the provision of multiple export finance products including working capital and loan finance for Irish exporters.

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