Business Plus


Catherine Collins, Head of Credit Review, explains the function of the organisati­on and how bank credit refusals can be appealed by business and farm owners


What we do

Credit Review was set up by the Minister for Finance in 2010 to ensure viable (or potentiall­y viable) businesses have access to credit from

Irish banks. Our appeals process provides an independen­t review when a credit request is declined by a bank. That review focusses on viability, or ability to repay the credit sought.

We can review requests for credit facilities up to a value of €3 million, such as overdrafts, term loans, invoice or asset finance. Participat­ing banks include AIB, Bank of Ireland, and PTSB. As well as new credit applicatio­ns, we can also review changes to existing credit facilities that are being restructur­ed, reduced or even withdrawn.

So if your bank reduces your overdraft limit, you can appeal to Credit Review, where we will take an independen­t view on what the business needs and the level of debt it can support. Or if you need to extend the term of your business loan, or amalgamate short-term debt with longer term, and your bank is refusing your request, you can appeal the bank’s refusal to Credit Review.

Business owners often don’t realise that restructur­ing proposals may be appealed, whether the restructur­ing has been sought by the borrower or the bank. Restructur­ing has been increasing­ly important post-Covid, as businesses adapt to changing economic conditions and seek to address legacy debt and creditor issues.

The process, which is simple and affordable, is available to all Irish SME and farm businesses. Most importantl­y, in over 80% of the cases we support, the businesses are approved a lending or credit solution by their bank.

So, what happens when a business or farm applies to Credit Review?

When a business applies for a review, a Reviewer from the Credit Review team is assigned to assess whether the business is viable and will, in the future, have sufficient cash to pay back the loan or meet restructur­ing obligation­s.

The team includes a panel of expert credit profession­als across Ireland, with frontline SME and farming finance experience. They are credit experts who are familiar with the banking sector and how it works; and they also understand what it takes to run a successful business.

Once the Reviewer has examined the relevant documentat­ion from both borrower and bank, they will contact the borrower to discuss in detail and better understand the business. The Reviewer will look at the track record, existing debts, future potential, management and markets, as well as the reason for the new credit applicatio­n or restructur­ing request.

The bank is also asked to provide details on how it views the business and specifical­ly why it has refused to lend. Once the case is reviewed, we form our opinion on the bank’s credit decision, which is sent to the bank and the borrower.

In most cases that come to Credit Review, we can support the borrower by recommendi­ng a credit solution that works for both the business and the bank. However, where the Reviewer is unable to recommend the credit facility requested, we will suggest a roadmap to make future bank applicatio­ns more likely to succeed. We will also signpost SMEs towards other government supports that can help them to grow and develop their businesses.

What to Do Next

We encourage all business borrowers who feel they are having difficulty accessing credit to contact Credit Review. In addition to our appeals process, Credit Review operates a helpline service providing useful informatio­n and assistance over the phone to SMEs and farmers.

Sometimes credit issues can be resolved without needing a formal appeal. The Credit Review website also has a number of accessible, easy-to-understand informatio­n notes on banking and credit issues that can help businesses successful­ly access credit.

For more informatio­n on our independen­t appeals process and informatio­n services, visit creditrevi­ or call the helpline on 0818 211 789.

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Catherine Collins, Head of Credit Review
Catherine Collins, Head of Credit Review

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland