Local Enterprise Offices would like to make all SMEs and start-ups aware that new regulations are now in effect for regulated lenders.
These SME Lending Regulations have replaced the Central Bank’s Code of Conduct for Business Lending to Small and Medium Enterprises 2012.
These came into effect for regulated lenders (other than credit unions) on 1st July 2016 and, in the case of credit unions, on 1st January 2017.
The Regulations introduced specific requirements for regulated lenders, including:
- 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.
The Central Bank has also produced a 10 Step Guide for Micro and Small Enterprises and Guarantors highlighting the protections available to them in the Regulations.
To find out more about these new lending regulations and how they might affect your business, please visit www.centralbank.ie
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