Master of the High Court: 'Restructuring SMEs through examinership is needed in these tough times' –

IT’S A FAIR bet that banks will be watching our current caretaker Government proposing legislation to support Ireland’s struggling small businesses – with below-market-interest-rates from financial institutions – and could decide, on that basis, to hold off on normal lending for now.

That’s displacement. Also, delay.

It’s also safe to assume that most small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are already technically insolvent after the events of the past few months, with all the legal consequences that will bring for company directors. Yet, ministers are already making comments about enabling lending only to ‘viable’ businesses.

This is just one aspect of the proposal to extend bank credit that should be of concern. What constitutes a ‘viable’ business in this unprecedented climate? If the lending is to be at the say-so of the banks, will they assess applications with any enthusiasm or interest? Remember, they already

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