• Scheme can now be used to refinance loans held with exiting banks.
• Scheme must now be properly promoted to ensure it is utilized.
ISME, 23rd February 2015.
ISME, the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises Association, welcomed the changes to the Credit Guarantee scheme announced today (23rd February). The Credit Guarantee Scheme aims to help viable businesses which have been refused conventional bank credit facilities access a state-backed guarantee for 75% of their loan.
Mark Fielding, ISME CEO, commented, “The take-up of the Credit Guarantee Scheme to date has been abysmal so these changes are very welcome. We are aware of businesses who have been struggling to refinance loans from the exiting banks and had informed government of this. We are pleased that the relaunched scheme addresses this issue by making the guarantee available to businesses in this situation. The extension of the length of the guarantee, from three to seven years, is also a positive development.”
“It is imperative now that the Government properly promote this scheme and compel the banks to train their staff to inform relevant clients about it. There is no point in investing in a scheme to help SMEs, if the people instructed to administer it are not promoting its existence. The onus is on the banks to inform customers that they can apply for a guarantee. They have not been adequately fulfilling this obligation to date but must be forced to do so.”
“The Credit Guarantee Scheme has the potential to allow businesses to access the funding they need to take advantage of the resurgence in the economy, but only if they are aware of it and if banks are open to encouraging its use.”