Lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s)

The purpose of this notice is to inform our business members about our SME lending services.  It is targeted at enterprises employing less than 50 persons and with annual turnover and balance sheet total of up to €10 million.

In this context, an enterprise includes a farmer or a sole trader such as a carpenter who is borrowing for the purposes of their farm, trade or profession.  It also applies to other members who borrow for a related business purpose and who may be an employee on PAYE.  If a farmer or carpenter is borrowing a personal loan for (say) home improvements or a holiday this brochure does not apply.  It only applies to loans for the purpose of the business/farm.

St Jarlath’s Credit Union is happy to lend to the SME/Agri sector.  We have specialist staff who have been trained in lending to this sector and all of the regulations which apply.

Background to SME regulations

New SME Regulations came into effect on 1st July 2016 to the extent that they apply to regulated entities excluding credit unions.  They came into effect in relation to credit unions from 1st January 2017.

The objective of the regulations is to strengthen protections for SMEs, while also facilitating access to credit, by introducing specific requirements that regulated lenders must comply with. These requirements include:

  • Giving SME borrowers greater transparency around the application process.
  • Providing SME borrowers with reasons for declining credit, in writing, that are specific to their application.
  • Providing greater protections for guarantors.
  • Contacting SME borrowers who have been in arrears for 15 working days.
  • Warning SME borrowers if they are in danger of being classified as not co-operating.
  • Expanding the grounds for appeal and setting up an internal appeals panel.

For more information please call to the Credit Union for a copy of our SME Information Booklet, email sme@sjcu.ie or alternatively click here to download a copy in PDF format.

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