Banks 'manipulated' low-cost loan scheme for their own interest, says TD
The banks' handling of a Department of Agriculture-backed Agricultural Cashflow Support Loan Scheme has been heavily criticised by a number of TDs at a meeting of the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee this week.
Fianna Fail's Jackie Cahill was among the strongest critics of the banks' operation of the Scheme and said at the hearing that banks had 'forced' farmers to take shorter loan terms than they wanted.
"The Scheme was designed to be a six-year scheme, with an option for the first three years to be interest only, if the client so desired.
"The Scheme was to ease a farmers' cashflow to help him get back on the rails where he was trying to clear debt."
However, Cahill said banks had forced clients to take significantly less of a term.
"They got away with it. They have done it.
"I can’t see why they should have been allowed to do it.
"Why should the banks have the prerogative to force them to take a shorter term," Cahill said.