I have been refused a credit application below €3m, but have other borrowings with this institution, can I still apply to have the application reviewed?

Yes. The €3m criteria applies only to the credit being applied for at the time, and not the total or aggregated borrowings of your business or farm.

Please note you will be asked to state all existing borrowings on your review application.

What type of business is considered to be an SME?

Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are businesses with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of less than €50 million (and/or a balance sheet total of less than €43 million). Link to EU definition.

I have been refused credit, but my application falls outside Credit Review’s criteria, can I still apply?

Unfortunately, Credit Review operates under strict criteria set out under SI No. 127 of 2010. However, you may be able to apply for an internal appeal within your bank, where your application will be assessed by a different team within the bank. Check with your bank directly if you are eligible for an internal appeal.

Even if you are not currently eligible to apply to Credit Review, we would still like to hear from you. Keeping track of enquiries means we can see if there is a growing demand for our services from businesses who fall outside the above criteria. We can then bring this information to the attention of the Minister for Finance, who may consider reviewing the criteria. Get in touch here.

I enquired about a loan with my local bank but was told not to bother. Can Credit Review help?

Yes. First you must submit a formal written request for lending to your local bank or bank business centre for review.

A useful guide to help you prepare your submission is Guidance to SME’s Seeking Credit.

This document gives tips and information on:

  • funding options open to businesses
  • what banks are looking for when examining credit applications
  • how best to present your credit application

If your formal application is declined, and you still feel that your application is creditworthy, ask for the lending decision to be appealed within the bank.

If the internal appeal is declined, you may then contact Credit Review to give you an independent Opinion on your credit application.

I live in Northern Ireland and borrow from one of the main banks operating there. Can I ask Credit Review to provide an opinion on a credit decision?

Unfortunately no. Credit Review was established under section 210 (1) of the National Asset Management Agency Act 2009, which applies only to the Republic of Ireland.

The Process

Is the Credit Review Process Confidential?

Yes. Your application will be treated with the strictest confidence. Your privacy and security of your information is extremely important to us. For more details on our policies regarding privacy, data protection and GDPR, click here.

Could my application to review the bank’s credit decision be held against me by my bank?

Participating banks fully support Credit Review and work closely with us throughout the process.

If a borrower believes they have been adversely treated as a result of appealing a credit decision, either internally to their bank or to Credit Review, a number of remedies are available:

  1. they may complain to the bank using the internal complaints process.
  2. they may contact Credit Review who will ensure that the grievance will be dealt with at senior levels within the bank.
  3. they may contact the Financial Regulator to pursue their grievance with the bank. (TBC)

The banks have also entered into a Code of Conduct for Business Lending to Small and Medium Enterprises with the Financial Regulator. To read the code in full, click below.

Code of conduct for business lending to small and medium enterprises

Do I have to go through the bank’s internal process? I would prefer if Credit Review could give an opinion on the bank’s decision without having to go through an internal process.

The bank must first be asked to re-examine their lending decision through their internal appeals process. In our experience, unfavourable credit decisions can be reversed as a result of this process. Credit Review can assist you with this too, if you need us.

How much does the service cost? Is there an application fee?

Credit Review charges a small fee for the service to cover a proportion of its costs. The balance of the costs is covered by the participating banks. The fee can range from a minimum of €100 to a maximum of €250 depending on the value of the loan under review.


How long does the review take?

Lead-times can vary, depending on the complexity of the case. Typically, the process takes 4 weeks from receipt of an eligible application to Credit Review issuing an Opinion.

We understand the importance of these decisions and the impact it has on your business so we try to make the process as efficient and speedy as possible.