Banks: No ‘real basis’ for Kelly SME wipe-out claims

The main players in Ireland banking sector have said there is no "real basis" for claims from a leading economist that small and medium firms are facing a "wipe-out".

Professor Morgan Kelly known as "Doctor Doom" for famously predicting the scale of the banking and property collapse has said ECB stress tests will uncover massive debt issues in Ireland's small firms.

He noted the action against distressed loans could be "very, very horrible" and a huge chunk of the economy could be wiped out in one go.

The SME sector itself said the claims are "over the top" and small firms have shown themselves to be "resilient" since the crash.

Bank Of Ireland's Head of Small Business Gerry Prizeman and AIB's John Irwin say they see no basis for Morgan Kelly's comments and don't envisage any "severe shock."

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