As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, you may be worried about the impact that Brexit could have on your businesses. It is important that as an SME you prepare for any adverse impact, especially any threats to your financial liquidity, by assessing the Brexit risk and adapting your business plans to mitigate any risk. The most likely risks will relate to increased tariffs on trade, changing regulations, border delays and volatile exchange rates. Some risks may not be as obvious, such as if you do not trade directly with the UK but have a supply chain routed through the UK. In order to prepare for any adverse impact, you should complete a Brexit Risk Assessment.
Firstly, you should consider any short-term impact on your cash flow, for example, you may experience late deliveries. Secondly, you should consider the medium-term impact of increased costs on your profitability. You should also consider the vulnerability of your industry, as some sectors may be more impacted than others. It is expected that agriculture, food, tourism and transport could experience particular challenges.
You should also consider any vulnerability within your specific firm, such as the level of trade with the UK, supply chain routes, payment terms and the nature of goods traded. For example perishable goods are particularly vulnerable to border delays. Your risk assessment should consider the options available to mitigate any adverse impact on your business. It should also consider the relative impact on your competitors and the potential for you to develop alternative markets.
Please contact us if your assessment identifies any material risks that you believe may lead to financial difficulties. If you are experiencing or are at risk of financial difficulties, as an existing SME borrower, you have the option of undertaking a Credit Facility Review. We will assist you in identifying options to resolve your difficulties based on affordability and sustainability criteria.
A Credit Facility Review can help to identify and agree alternative arrangements appropriate to your circumstances. In order to complete a review we will usually require the financial statements of your business, future cash flow projections and a copy of your business plan. We may also request debtor listings, creditor listings, assets valuations and a statement of affairs for the borrower, any guarantors and beneficial owners, including confirmation of taxation status.
There may be cases where we will be unable to provide an alternative arrangement. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of our credit facility review you will have the right to appeal. If any internal appeal is unsuccessful, you may then appeal our decision to the Credit Review Office.
If you have completed a risk assessment for Brexit and identified potential financial difficulties, please read our ‘Guide for SMEs experiencing or at risk of Financial Difficulties’. If you are worried about the risk of financial difficulties, please contact us at the numbers below and we will arrange a review meeting.
If you anticipate difficulty in making loan repayments: call 1890 500 121 or +353 1 2124101 (Lines open Monday-Friday 9am-7pm).
If you are already in arrears on loan repayments: call 1800 855 010 or +353 21 6013800 (Lines open Monday-Friday 9am-8pm & Saturday 9am-1pm).
You can find out more information on Brexit including the biggest concerns and the most vulnerable sectors here.
The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation have a dedicated website www.supportingsmes.ie, which lists over 80 Government supports available to Irish start-ups and small businesses. Here, business owners will find a range of supports to help manage and grow their business.
Read the Guide for Micro & Small Enterprises and Guarantors: Regulations on Lending to Small & Medium-Sized Enterprises published by the Central Bank of Ireland.