Nigel Smyth CBI Northern Ireland responds to bank lending figures

Nigel Smyth CBI Northern IrelandsmCommenting on the publication by the British Bankers Association for the first time of bank lending data specific to Northern Ireland, Nigel Smyth CBI Northern Ireland Director,  said: “More transparency on bank lending has been a key ‘ask’ of the business community for some time. As one of the key deliverables contained within last year’s Economic Pact it is very welcome to see published today the Northern Ireland specific lending data covering quarters three and four of 2013.

“The business community and the Northern Ireland Executive were united in the view that, in order to shed proper light on the bank lending picture locally, we needed a mechanism by which we could properly assess the contribution being made to local businesses.

“It is encouraging that quarter on quarter new lending to SME’s grew by £6m to £362m while the year-on-year figures in Q4 reflected a 46% rise in overall lending.

“This reflects the picture of an improving economy in which the demand for lending, both conventional in this case via banks and through other mechanisms such as venture capital, is increasing. Ensuring an adequate flow of credit is critical to underpinning the economic recovery which is underway.”

“The work of the Joint Ministerial Taskforce in achieving this publication is to be strongly welcomed as this, for the first time, gives us more clarity in respect of business lending in Northern Ireland”

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