Low-cost loan scheme monies likely to be fully utilised – Bank of Ireland

Bank of Ireland has now moved to accept applications to the low-cost loan or the Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan Scheme on a provisional basis only.

In a statement, the bank said there has been significant demand for the loans and, based on its assessment of all the applications received to date, the €65m available to the bank is likely to be fully utilised.

In early February, Bank of Ireland launched the SBCI Agriculture Cashflow Support Loan scheme with the bank providing up to €65m.

John Fitzgerald, Head of Agriculture, Bank of Ireland confirmed: “From today, Thursday, March 2, all applications for loans under the Scheme can now only be accepted on a provisional basis, contingent on any residual availability within the Scheme, which may emerge over the next number of weeks.

Bank of Ireland continues to encourage all our customers and farmers to discuss their funding requirements.

“If and when residual funding availability within the Scheme is confirmed, provisional applications will then be processed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis,” he said.

The scheme is subsidised and guaranteed by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the European Investment Fund.

Funding under the scheme will be made available to farmers throughout Ireland at a low-cost interest rate of 2.95%.

The scheme was announced in the Government’s 2017 Budget and was developed in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

It aims to support farmers experiencing short-term financial pressure, due to price and income volatility.

The loans were designed to enable farmers to plan and budget more effectively, by providing an attractive alternative to more expensive forms of credit such as merchant credit and bank overdraft facilities.