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Aug, 2010

Banks are claiming that eight out of ten loan applications are being granted to small businesses but Mark Fielding, the chief executive of ISME, is not having any of it. In an article in the Sunday Tribune, the characteristically outspoken Fielding said that some Government-assisted banks are lending again as a result of the state rescue package. “They are lending to bigger, less risky companies and finding every excuse under the sun to turn down vulnerable but viable SME businesses,” Fielding said.
“These same banks are only in existence because of taxpayers’ money and guarantees and a new wheeze invented under Nama called ‘long term economic value (LTEV).’  This allowed our Government to pay over the odds for bank assets, with the excuse that these assets would, one day, achieve a higher value than they were worth when Nama took them under its wing.”
It was now time to demand that these state-assisted banks use the same logic in assessing small business loan applications, Fielding said. These SMEs were in trouble because of the global downturn, exacerbated by the banks’ mismanagement, and they need access to bank credit. “They will achieve long-term economic value as long as they are supported by the banks during this downturn. The owner-managers of small businesses don’t understand LTEV. They don’t understand bankers’ lies and auditors’ negligence and they don’t understand why it seems that bad behaviour in banks is rewarded while hard work on Main Street isn’t,” he added.

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