As the Deputy may be aware, my Department commissions biannual SME credit demand surveys, securing completed responses from 1,500 SMEs, to ascertain the situation in relation to:
- the demand for credit from SMEs;
- their level of knowledge on their rights in relation to credit;
- the reasons given for refusal of credit and;
- the failure of SMEs to seek credit.
Following a competitive tendering process, Red C were awarded the contracts to carry out these surveys for the periods October 2012, March 2013 and April 2013 and September 2013. The combined cost of these surveys was €118,572 in 2013. Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks reimburse these costs to my Department. The most recent of these surveys is available on the Department of Finance website: http://www.finance.gov.ie/sites/default/files/Dept%20of%20Finance%20SME%20Credit%20Demand%20Survey%20Report%20-%20Apr-Sep%202013.pdf.