31/10/2013

'Access To Finance' Panel Announced

Northern Ireland's Finance and Enterprise Ministers have announced a new 'Access to Finance Implementation Panel' that will seek to facilitate bank lending for local businesses.

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton said: "This Panel will put a new focus on banking and access to finance issues here, particularly business lending. For some time now we have been faced with a situation where banks have been saying that they have money to lend but that there is no demand, and where many businesses are saying they cannot get the money they need to invest and grow.

"We also know that many of the schemes that have been put in place to help are not working as well as they might do. It all adds up to a situation where constrained business lending is impeding our economic recovery. This Panel will bring independent eyes to this. We have asked it to tell it to us exactly as they see it. It will work with us, the banks and the business bodies to progress the issues associated with access to finance that we have identified."

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster added: "Establishing this Panel was a key recommendation of the Economic Advisory Group (EAG) in their 'Review of Access to Finance for NI Businesses' report and an important part of the Panel’s work will be to oversee the implementation of the other EAG recommendations."

(IT/CD)

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