Sinn Fein County Councillor, Seán McSharry has called on the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Small-Medium Enterprises, to intervene in the Banking Crisis that is crippling the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector.
Cllr McSharry’s comments come after a Central Bank report showed that only Greece had a higher refusal rate when it comes to making credit available to SME’s. In the last six months, one in four Business applications seeking credit facilities were refused or their overdraft facilities were withdrawn.
After meeting with a number of business people Cllr McSharry pointed out that they were not looking for substantial loans, but just enough of a facility to keep their doors open. “In the majority of cases, they wished to keep staff on the payroll and off the live register,” he told the Leitrim Observer.
Cllr McSharry said he found it highly hypocritical for the main banks (all which have received large recapitalisation at huge cost to the tax payer), to say that they are lending when they have the second highest refusal rate in the Euro Zone.
“The Government must immediately enforce the banking sector to account for the huge bonuses that were paid and continue to be paid to the banking officials and members of Zombie Banking Boards,” he said. “Ultimately the banking sector remains in state ownerships.
“Unless the burden is taken from off the shoulders of small businesses, many will be forced to cease trading and close their doors. Failure to do so, will cause the local economy to contract further and lead to higher unemployment rates.”