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McLaughlin accuses Banks of preying on SME’s

23 February, 2011

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has accused Banks of preying on SME’s by unilaterally converting funding facilities into term loans.

Mitchel McLauighlin said:

“I have been approached by a number of Small Business operators who have expressed concern that the banks may be targeting their assets by unilaterally converting longstanding overdraft facilities into personally guaranteed loans.

“Not only is this putting extra mental stress on these business people but it is costing jobs as some employers are having to lay employees off in order to service the loan repayments. The fact that the loans are personally guaranteed means that in the event of default the Banks will seize the assets as collateral, thereby closing down many businesses that would remain viable if banks maintained existing funding arrangements.

“Instead of preying on struggling businesses in order to maximize profits, Banks have an obligation to repair the damage they have done to the economy by offering all reasonable assistance to business operators, many of whom have been loyal clients for generations.

“I am calling on Banks to cease these strong arm tactics and start to treat business clients as partners in the effort to restart our economy instead of an easy, short-term source of funds building. This treatment of SME’s who we depend on for 90% of jobs is making no contribution to laying the foundations for building a strong economy for the future.” ENDS

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