Helping businesses access credit to survive and thrive in the COVID-19 crisis (Sponsored)

Feb 11, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on revenues and cashflow for small businesses and farms in Ireland. But some businesses will experience difficulty in getting support from banks for a variety of reasons.

The good news for SMEs and farms seeking credit is that Credit Review can help. Set up by the Minister for Finance in 2010, Credit Review’s mission is to ensure that viable businesses have access to credit.

Appeals

We provide a simple, effective and affordable appeals process for SME and farm businesses who have either been refused credit or have had existing facilities (up to a value of €3 million) reduced or withdrawn by their bank – AIB, Bank of Ireland, PTSB and Ulster Bank – the main lenders to Irish SMEs and Farms.

We don’t just look at credit application for new or additional funding - we also review restructuring proposals, whether the proposal is made either by the borrower or the bank. This will be increasingly important in 2021, as SME businesses who availed of the system wide Covid payment breaks, will now need to restructure their debt going forward.

How does it work?

When an SME or farm applies to Credit Review, a reviewer is assigned. They contact the borrower to discuss the case and better understand the business – looking at its track record, existing debts, future potential, management and markets, as well as the reason for the new credit or restructuring request. Our reviewers are professional, independent credit experts who know and understand how the banking sector works, and what it takes to run a successful business.

The bank is also asked to provide detailed and specific information on how it views the business and why it has refused to lend, which is shared with the borrower. The reviewer then forms an opinion as to whether the business is viable and if it will make enough cash to pay back the loan. The aim is always to achieve successful outcomes for the business owners.

In most cases, Credit Review is able to suggest a credit solution that works for both the business and the bank. In 9 out of 10 cases, the bank will make credit available.

Where the reviewer is unable to recommend the credit facility requested, a roadmap to make future bank applications more likely to succeed will be suggested.

In some cases, bank funding may not be the solution. If this happens, the reviewer will highlight alternative supports that may help the borrower and the business.

In addition to reviews and appeals, Credit Review also provides accessible, easy to understand information notes on banking and credit issues on our website, and we have a helpline you can call to speak to us directly.

To get help, just contact the Credit Review Helpline at 087-1217244 or Freephone 1850 211789.

This article is sponsored by Credit Review.