Cash from €150m low cost scheme unlikely to be released before March
Many farmers are not aware of the strict guidelines surrounding the new €150m low-cost loan scheme being made available to the agri-secctor under an EU aid package, bank representatives have warned.
Senior bank officials said they had received a huge level of queries regarding the loan scheme but many farmers are not clear about how the new loan scheme will work.
"I've had farmers ringing me about holding off on capital spending to take advantage of the low rates available under the new package," one senior executive said.
Other officials confirmed that a number of farmers who contacted the banks regarding new loans thought they could finance the fresh borrowings at the lower rate.
The €150m loan package is being delivered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SCBI) and is expected to be handled by the main banks and possibly other financial institutions such as the Credit Unions.
A spokesperson for the SCBI said the loans can be used for existing debt and future working capital requirements.
Last week the SCBI put a call out seeking lending partners to distribute the low cost loans. The closing date for expressions of interest is this Friday (November 25).