The Central Bank today revealed that Ireland is the second hardest place to get a loan despite recent print, online and television ad campaigns depicting happy new homeowners, earnest young business owners and plucky young travelling students all gratefully enjoying the banks flowing stream of never-ending cash.
The research is likely to reopen debate on the banking guarantee from 2008 where Fianna Fáil alleged that society would instantly crumble to harrowing brutality without a working banking system. “People will go around eating dog shit and shooting shotguns from home-made cars like in Mad Max” said Brian Cowen on RTÉ‘s Six One News at the time. It was subsequently revealed he had given the interview from the jacks of a pub where he then sang a great rendition of Sean South of Garryowen to a rapturous reception.
The Irish SME (Small/Medium Enterprise) Credit Supply and Demand, Comparisons Across Surveys and Countries report comes from two economists at the Central Bank.
The research revealed that SMEs are twice as likely to have a business loan application rejected compared to the euro zone average for loan refusals. Having spent €60 million on advertising in 2012, AIB claim that they are “the loans bank” while Ulster Bank say “you can trust us“. Bank of Ireland claim that they are the “only REAL bank” while KBC bank purport to be “the only REAL bank you can trust, offering loans“.
More than 25% of loan and overdraft applications from small business were rejected in recent months. That compared to one in 28 in Germany.
Bank of Ireland meanwhile have introduced a new Credit Rating scheme to help potential loan customers find where they are on the financial ratings index. While BOI have enthusiastically injected a large amount of advertising cash into the launch of the scheme, some critics say it is a cynical justification of loan refusal with needlessly cruel terminology such as “Monetary Spazzdonkey” and “Double Wallet Clown”.