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New SME lending facility is a broken promise dressed up as good news - Doherty

31 October, 2014 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said the announcement today of the signing of agreements on a Strategic Banking Corporation cannot hide the reality that the government’s promise to establish a Strategic Investment Bank has been broken.

Speaking today Deputy Doherty said:

“Despite the fanfare today, what we have is a broken promise dressed up as good news. This new facility is not a bank and will not be enough to provide a stimulus to our real economy.

“The government rushed through the Strategic Banking Corporation Ireland Act earlier this year. The name of the Act gives the game away; we will have a Banking Corporation, not a bank. The new body won’t have a banking licence. The government’s promise to set up a Strategic Investment Bank has been dropped.

“This proposal is a shadow of what Sinn Fein has argued for – a State Bank that invests in the real economy. The SME sector is crying out for investment and for credit. The banks the people bailed out are not lending in a fair way to Irish businesses.

“This new company will not lend directly to businesses. Instead it will lend to the banks in the hope that they will pass on the cheaper credit to the real economy. There is no trust in the banks and they must be forced to lend to SMEs and others.

 The Programme for Government’s commitment to establish a Strategic Investment Bank has now been discarded, another broken promise to Small and Medium Enterprises. I hope this new facility is availed off by SMEs and not simply soaked up by the banks.”

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