But the decline was steeper in the Republic and for all small and medium firms the success rate dropped from 95% to 55%. Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “Access to finance on reasonable terms is essential to grow our way out of the current economic downturn.
“I would encourage the banking sector to work more closely with businesses to their mutual benefit, particularly in the high valued added export-led sector.”
Glyn Roberts, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association, said the figures were “deeply disappointing”.
“We’ll be interested to see the response of banks to this survey.”
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