Farm Ireland

Monday 19 March 2018

Bank of Ireland confirms its budget for 'low-cost' agri loans 'fully utilised'

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Bank of Ireland has confirmed that it has now fully utilised its funding allocation under Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme

Bank of Ireland launched the SBCI Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan scheme on February 3, 2017 with the Bank providing up to €65 million to eligible farmers.

In a statement the bank said there has been significant demand for the loans and based on its assessment of all the applications received to date, the €65 million available to Bank of Ireland is likely to be fully utilised.

John Fitzgerald, Head of Agriculture, Bank of Ireland confirmed; “From today, Thursday, March 2, all applications for loans under the Scheme can now only be accepted on a provisional basis, contingent on any residual availability within the Scheme which may emerge over the next number of weeks.

"Bank of Ireland continues to encourage all our customers and farmers to discuss their funding requirements. If and when residual funding availability within the Scheme is confirmed, provisional applications will then be processed on a ‘first come first served’ basis.”

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has warned farmers that they will not be in a position to facilite cheap finance to farmers if they apply after its €150m fund has been expended.

The SBCI launched this scheme last month to allow farmers and agri-business SMEs to borrow up to €150,000 at a special low rate of 2.95% to address the difficult market conditions that they have faced recently.

These loans are available through AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.

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SBCI Chief Executive Nick Ashmore has said it is experiencing very strong demand for these loans from borrowers and supply is strictly limited to €150 million he added that any potential borrowers who have not yet applied for these loans should do so quickly.

“We are experiencing strong demand and are well ahead of schedule and therefore we would remind potential borrowers that it will not be possible to meet their requirements if they apply after the available supply has been used up”, he said.

Loans totalling €544m have been provided to small and medium-sized businesses by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI).

Figures released yesterday show that a total of 12,593 SMEs drew down loans between March of 2015 and December of last year.

The average size of the loans to SMEs was €43,200, with almost a quarter (23pc) being provided to companies in the farming industry.

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