State bank insists farm loans scheme is on track for January
Tensions are mounting between the key players in the delivery of the €150m low-interest loan package to farmers.
While the main banks admit privately that they will be under pressure to get the EU-backed programme in place by early spring, the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SCBI) has insisted that monies should be available to farmers by the end of January.
“The SBCI expects that the first loans under this initiative will be available by the end of January,” a spokesman told the Farming Independent.
He described as “incorrect” speculation that the loans scheme might not be operational until March.
“The January target date has been openly communicated to the market on a number of occasions,” he pointed out.
However, banking sources maintained that getting the initiative up and running by January will be a massive challenge.
“We’ll be making one serious push to have the scheme in place by the end of the January but we can't rush this,” a senior official with one of the pillar banks said.
“We can’t launch a loans scheme that is not considered and not fully vetted. We will be taking the time necessary to get things right,” the official insisted.