8 Questions about the Credit Review Office Answered

credit-card-851506_640 The Credit Review Office was established in 2010 and its purpose is to undertake impartial independent reviews of the bank’s decision, on behalf of borrowers. The Credit Review Office specifically deals with cases where SMEs/sole traders/ small and medium sized farms had credit facilities refused, reduced or withdrawn (amounts from €1,000 up to €3,000,000). If a borrower feels the credit decision or terms are unfair, the Credit Review Office may carry out a review of the case. To date the Credit Review Office has successfully overturned over 50% of cases processed.
  1. What is the objective?

The objective is to provide an independent, impartial opinion on a bank’s credit decision. The Credit Review Office base their opinion on the feasibility of the business and its capacity to service debt.
  1. What about Confidentiality and timeline?

Enquiries to the Credit Review Office are dealt with in the strictest confidence. The turnaround time is dependent on the complexities involved and the information available. A four to six week turnaround, between receiving application, reviewing the case and issuing an opinion, is typically the norm.
  1. What happens if the Bank’s Refusal is upheld?

Where the Credit Review Office believes the business will not generate sufficient cash to repay the loan they will not recommend/support the credit application. However in these cases the Credit Review Office may add value by suggesting alternatives solutions/remedies for the borrower.
  1. Who completes the review?

The reviews are completed by credit review panellists with front-line SME or farm credit experience. They are assisted by accountants, from the public sector, who join the assessment committees.
  1. What happens if the banks refusal decision is upheld?

If the review upholds the original banking refusal, the opinion is reassessed by a “non-banker” panel member. The “non-banker” panel is made up of a senior executive from an SME trade organisation, a chartered accountant or an executive from a Local Enterprise Office.
  1. What factors are considered?

A number of factors are considered as part of the review process, including;
  • the promoter’s experience and capability
  • the market sector and its projected growth
  • historical financial performance
  • projected financial performance
  • changes made to improve the business
  • the working capital position, specifically regarding aged debtors and creditors
  • the promoter’s assets and liabilities.
  1. How is the review delivered?

The independent opinion is issued by way of a written document including recommendations for the borrower and the bank. Typically the document runs to five or six pages. If the appeal is successful, the document will include “Agreed Next Actions” from the bank. This will include a step plan to ensure that the business gets credit.
  1. How to apply?

Borrowers interested in the process should; If the application meets the eligibility criteria, a second processing fee will be required. This will be advised by the Credit Review Office once they have accessed the information.

What questions do you have?

We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Jack Gahan on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send us an email: info@cooneycarey.ie

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