Farm Ireland

Thursday 22 March 2018

Farmers warned they won't get access to new agri loans if funds are used up

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Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

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.

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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The food and accommodation sectors received 13.6pc of the overall loans, while businesses engaged in administration accounted for 10pc of the total drawn down.

The loans provided support 67,000 jobs across the Irish economy. The SBCI has been able to expand lending to SMEs as a result of risk sharing arrangements entered into with the Government and the European Investment Bank.

"We are pleased to report today that we have put over half a billion euro to work in the Irish economy, supporting SMEs and supporting jobs," said Nick Ashmore, ceo of the SBCI.

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