AIB says it’s ‘actively’ lending to farmers

AIB’s Agri Strategy Manager Anne Finnegan has told Agriland that the bank is actively lending to the farming sectors.

“Our decision to lend, or not to lend, will be based primarily on the applicant’s business plan and our analysis of his or her future ability to meet the loan replacements. We will also assess the track history of the farm to perform financially over the previous three to five years. And, yes, having adequate security to meet the criteria of the loan is taken into consideration. But it is by no means the key driver in determining whether the money that has been requested will be made available.”

The agri specialist confirmed at the National Ploughing Championships that significant investment growth has been recorded within the milk sector over the last 12 months and said that the same trend is also apparent within the beef and pig industries. “In the former case, the main driver has been the need to invest in improved farm waste facilities while pig producers continue to improve the welfare standards on their farms.”

Commenting specifically on the challenge of volatility, which confronts every sector of Irish agriculture at the present time, Anne Finnegan said they are seeing rapid expansion with the milk sector. “But this must be achieved in ways that do not impact on farm efficiency levels and producers’ cost base.

“We offer a number of specific financial tools to allow farmers cope with the problem of volatility. But it would be wrong to generalise this issue. In reality we provide a bespoke service to each farmer client. And the same principle holds in terms of our dealings with young farmers. We also recognise the need to work with new entrants into the industry and tailor our package of services accordingly.”