A recent survey by the CSO on the availability of credit for businesses has shown that the access to bank loans has fallen from 95% to 55%. This dramatic drop is highlighted in Figure 1.
Figure 2 gives the results of why enterprises were refused loans. Surprisingly, the number of loans refused due to poor credit ratings are actually lower in 2010 than in 2007; likewise for lack of capital and insignificant or risky potential. However, the main reason for more refusals appears to be due to enterprises already possessing too many loans/debts. Also, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cases which have been refused with no reason given for the refusal.
These results appear to conform to what would be widely reported in the media; that access to capital from the banks has been reduced.
Justin Doran is a Lecturer in Economics, in the Department of Economics, University College Cork, Ireland.