Farmers urged to engage with Pepper after ACC loans sale

IFA's farm business chairman Martin Stapleton
IFA's farm business chairman Martin Stapleton
Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

The IFA has urged farmers to engage with the loan service provider Pepper, which will take charge of all former ACC Bank debt.

Rabobank, which owned the former ACC Bank, wrote to borrowers last week to confirm that it had sold the remaining loans from its Irish subsidiary.

The ACC loan book, which was valued at between €1.8bn and €2bn, was bought for €800m by a consortium which includes Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs, distressed debt firm CarVal Investors and debt collection firm Cabot.

The loans will be handled by Pepper, which is expected to contact lenders once the deal with Rabobank is finalised.

IFA's Martin Stapleton urged farmers to engage with Pepper "as a matter of urgency" once they are contacted by the firm.

Mr Stapleton, chair of the IFA Farm Finance Committee, described as "productive" a meeting between the IFA and Pepper last Friday. He said Pepper assured the IFA delegation that in the case of performing loans, borrowers would be entitled to continue with their existing terms and conditions for the full duration of the loan.

Mr Stapleton said farmers with non-performing debts needed to talk to Pepper to discuss options for working out "a possible solution to their difficulties". It is estimated that around 1,800 individuals and businesses are impacted by the sale of the ACC loan book.

Established in 1927 as a state-owned lender to the agricultural sector, the Agricultural Credit Corporation (ACC) was bought by Dutch-based Rabobank in 2002.

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The sale of the ACC debt follows on from the controversial offloading of close to €1bn in loans by AIB to Everyday Finance. The AIB debts included the loans of around 130 farmers.

The AIB move has prompted an angry reaction, with IFA picketing the bank's recent AGM in Dublin.

Indo Farming


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