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Cara CU joins Brexit business loan initiative

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Cara Credit Union CEO Pa Laide and Sarah O’Regan, Head of Credit at the announcement that Cara is to join the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme as a business support loan lender. Photo Domnick Walsh

Cara Credit Union CEO Pa Laide and Sarah O’Regan, Head of Credit at the announcement that Cara is to join the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme as a business support loan lender. Photo Domnick Walsh

Cara Credit Union CEO Pa Laide and Sarah O’Regan, Head of Credit at the announcement that Cara is to join the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme as a business support loan lender. Photo Domnick Walsh

kerryman

Cara Credit Union has been approved to participate in the Government’s new Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS) for Irish businesses, which is run by the State-owned Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI).

Cara – which has branches in Tralee, Castleisland, Killorglin, Ballyduff and Causeway – is part of a group of five of large Credit Unions, all members of Metamo, which have been approved to offer loans within the new scheme.

Metamo is a joint venture between 16 of Ireland’s largest Credit Unions and the financial services company FEXCO.

It was launched in July 2019, with the aim of supporting Credit Union viability and sustainability by providing an enhanced range of services and helping with support in key areas such as lending, risk management and technology delivery.

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The five Metamo members, including Cara Credit Union, are the only Credit Unions that have been selected to offer loans under the new Scheme, which will provide funds to micro businesses, small businesses and primary producers that have been affected by the impact of Brexit.

The Metamo Credit Unions will be the only community-based lenders within the Scheme.
Cara Credit Union will be able to offer loans to firms and producers that rely on the UK for at least 15 per cent of their imports or exports.

The minimum loan value is €25,000, and the loans will have a term of between one year and six years. The approval decisions for the new loans will be made at local community level by Credit Union staff who know the businesses in their locality and who can access best-in-class support from Metamo’s centre of excellence.

“We are delighted to be able to extend our suite of business loans to include the Government’s new Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS). We are now, more than ever, determined to help businesses in our community, without which we simply would not have a community. To this end, we are extending our suite of business loans for all eventualities. If you need some financial support, call us, we are here to help,” said Cara CU CEO Pa Laide

Joe O’Toole, Chair of the Metamo Credit Union Group, said the group is delighted that the Government has approved five Metamo Credit Unions as the first community-based lenders to participate the scheme.

“These short to medium-term loans will play a vital role in helping micro, small, and medium enterprises and primary producers to deal with the financial impact of Brexit on their respective businesses,” he said.

“Engagement with this Scheme is another progressive step for Metamo as we continue to expand Credit Union activity in the broader financial services sector. We are no strangers to supporting local businesses; they are our neighbours and friends. We look forward to working with them in our community as we strengthen our robust sustainable relationships with these businesses into the future.”

Alan Kelly, Chief Executive of Metamo said Metamo’s participation in this new Loan Scheme is “great news” for the five Credit Unions selected and for the communities that they serve.

“This brings to 10 the number of Metamo Credit Unions involved in various SBCI Schemes and underscores the huge progress that is being made by the Group,” he said.

“Metamo’s model is all about the power of the collective being used to bring greater opportunities for our Credit Unions and for their members. The real winners from today’s announcement are the small businesses that our Credit Unions will help through this new Scheme in locations across Ireland,” said Mr Kelly.

The Metamo Group of 16 Credit Unions have a combined lending base of more than €1 billion.
Metamo’s participation in the new BILS is one of several initiatives that the Group is undertaking to further develop its ability to serve the needs of its members and the business community.

During the past two years, Metamo has widened the services provided to its members, including the development of a centre of excellence to help Credit Unions bring new products and services to their members.


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