Farm Ireland

Thursday 18 January 2018

Target remains for low-cost agri loans to be available in January

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) has confirmed that its target date for making new low cost cashflow loans available to farmers remains the end of this month.

This is despite the fact that it has yet to release details of the financial institutions involved something which it has said it will be doing shortly.

The €150m loan package is being delivered by the SCBI and is expected to be handled by the main banks and possibly other financial institutions such as the Credit Unions.

The making available of the loans to farmers is critical to avoid a scramble to authorise and draw down the loans as the full €150m must be utilised before the end of September 2017 under EU rules.

Meanwhile, Macra na Feirme has called on the SBCI and the pillar banks who will administer the new agriculture cash flow support loan scheme to include farmers who have restructured overdrafts into term loans.

Term loans are not part of the scheme. Macra na Feirme met with the SBCI recently to discuss the roll out of the new agri loan scheme and other young farmer credit line options.

Speaking at the meeting, Seán Finan Macra na Feirme National President said the organisation welcomes the low interest loan scheme but having received feedback from a number of young farmers across the country, it is clear with the SBCI that those farmers who acted responsibly and who restructured their overdraft debt to a term loan need to included as part of this new loan scheme.

“Farmers who continued to exhaust overdraft facilities will be facilitated under the current scheme where other farmers who acted more responsibly and restructured to term loans are now being penalised.

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“This scenario does not make sense and Macra na Feirme is calling for this to be addressed prior to the roll out of the scheme,” Finan said.

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