Bank of Ireland now accepting ‘Future Growth’ agri-loan applications

Bank of Ireland today confirmed its participation in the Government of Ireland’s Future Growth Loan Scheme (FGLS), designed to support the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and agri businesses.

Bank of Ireland is now accepting applications for the scheme, which is open to businesses meeting Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) eligibility.

SCBI scheme

The SBCI scheme funds capital expenditure and promotes business investment through low-cost loans, with terms ranging from eight to 10 years, and all loans secured with an 80% guarantee from the SBCI.

As a participant institution, Bank of Ireland is offering low-cost longer-term loan facilities through the SBCI, to aid businesses in their development through structural and market change.

The new €300 million scheme is offered in partnership with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and is supported by the European Investment Fund and the European Investment Bank.

Loan amounts available under the FGLS vary between €100,000 – for SMEs – and €50,000 – for agri loans – to a maximum of €3 million.

For applicants from the agri sector loans must be targeted at improvements in farm performance or sustainability as well as infrastructure upgrades, with the SBCI already in the process of confirming successful applications looking to avail of this new scheme.

The Future Growth Loan Scheme is offered by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) with the support of the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund.

Future Growth Loan Scheme

The Future Growth Loan Scheme benefits from a guarantee from the European Union under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).

Speaking about the Bank’s SBCI fund, Michael Lauhoff, director of business banking in Bank of Ireland, said:

“Bank of Ireland has received a significant allocation from the SBCI Future Growth Loan Scheme, and our ambition is to support and partner with eligible customers in making these loans work for their businesses.

The scheme is designed to assist businesses looking to invest and grow profitability over time.

“Bank of Ireland’s team of business and agriculture advisors are already meeting successful applicants, working closely with them to provide the necessary advice and guidance to assist with their funding options.”

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed also commented, stating: “I am delighted that the Future Growth Loan Scheme is now available for drawdown by applicants.

“As I’ve said before, this is a long-awaited source of finance for young and new entrant farmers, especially the cohort who do not have high levels of security.

It will also serve smaller-scale farmers, who often do not have the leverage to negotiate for more favourable terms with their banking institution.

“Additionally, food companies have identified long-term investment finance of up to 10 years as a critical need that is currently unavailable in Ireland.

“This partnership between the Government, EIF, SBCI and participating banks such as Bank of Ireland, have facilitated this innovative product. Its effects will be felt all along the food production chain from primary producer to processor level,” the minister concluded.

For those interested, more information about the SBCI Future Growth Loan Scheme can be found here.