Thursday, September 13 10:37:40
Bank of Ireland today announced a number of new initiatives targeted at the agri sector as the bank seeks to grow its market share in the thriving industry.
The bank also announced a further E275m increase to its existing E200m Agri Farm Investment Fund.
The increase, along with the E25m working capital fund, which was launched in July, adds up to a cash boost of E500m available to the sector since July 2011.
Sean Farrell, Head of Agriculture, Bank of Ireland said that, from speaking to the key industry stakeholders, the bank knows that there is an opportunity for it to grow its share of the agri lending market.
"We have the capital available and we want to lend. Our medium to long term view of the prospects for farmers in Ireland remains optimistic. We know there will be years in the future similar to 2012 when weather, prices and costs will provide challenges but we will continue to form our view of the sector based on average profitability across a number of years. Taking this approach and noting the opportunities which new and emerging markets provide, together with lifting of milk quota restrictions in 2015, we are committed to growing the agri lending book," he said.
"In July 2012 the Bank launched a dedicated credit line 1890 354 454 and also a E25m fund for farmers to help with cashflow and to cover additional costs incurred as a result of the poor summer weather. While demand for this fund has been limited to date, we expect demand to increase over the remainder of this year The new suite of agri loan products announced today proves that we have ample capital to lend and that we want to stay at the heart of the sector and continue to play a vital role in stimulating growth in the Irish agri sector on a local and global level".
The new initiative includes a term loan facility ideally suited to funding farm expansion, whether that is investing in farm buildings, land or livestock. Farmers who are developing their farms to cater for increased dairy output post 2015 may avail of interest only repayment terms in certain circumstances. The bank aims to support these farmer's cash flows until milk quotas are phased out, and believes that this expansion loan provides support for Irish farmers who want to invest in their business now.