AIB gets €60m from SBCI to lend to farmers

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland funds to aid farmers and agriculture SMEs

AIB says the funding will assist farmers at a time of uncertainty, with the agri sector potentially the most impacted by the UK’s Brexit vote. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

AIB says the funding will assist farmers at a time of uncertainty, with the agri sector potentially the most impacted by the UK’s Brexit vote. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Finance Correspondent

AIB has secured €60 million from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland to support the cashflow and working capital needs of farmers and SMEs involved in primary agriculture here.

This funding is part of the SBCI’s €150 million agriculture cashflow support loan scheme.

The bank, 99.9 per cent owned by the State, said it would make the funds available at a discounted rate of 2.95 per cent.

AIB’s managing director of retail and commercial banking, Robert Mulhall, said the funding would assist farmers at a time of uncertainty, with the agri sector here potentially the most impacted by the UK’s Brexit vote.

“We are very conscious that 2016 was a challenging year for many farm sectors,” he said. “We would encourage farmers currently experiencing cashflow pressure or planning their working capital needs for the year ahead to talk to AIB where they will receive advice and support to identify the most appropriate solution to meet their needs.”

Term of loans

The loans will be available for terms from one to six years, up to a maximum of €150,000 per farm operation. They will be unsecured and fixed at the discounted rate for the term of the loan.

AIB said loans can be used to meet new working capital requirements, to refinance existing farm creditors or a portion of existing working capital, or to replenish cash reserves utilised to fund capital expenditure prior to the end of 2016.

This is the latest tranche of funding that AIB has secured from the SBCI, a State-owned agency. It previously received €400 million in two equal tranches for on-lending to SMEs across a range of sectors at low cost.

In December, the SBCI said additional funds of €450 million had been secured to facilitate the “growing demand” for its loans and to bring its funding capacity up to €1.25 billion.