Bank of Ireland Business Banking launches second €75m Nursing Home Fund

20 planning applications for new Nursing Homes in 2007

Bank of Ireland Business Banking today (9 September 2008) announced the launch of a second €75 million fund dedicated to the Irish nursing home sector. This new tranche has been made available to nursing home operators following the successful take-up of a similar fund established last January.

Commenting on the launch of the second phase, Denis Bergin, Head of Retail Intermediary Banking in Bank of Ireland Business Banking, said: “Bank of Ireland is delighted to announce the introduction of a further €75m to our 2008 Nursing Home Fund, bringing to €150m the total fund for this year. We are committed to supporting nursing home operators who are either establishing a new home or extending their existing premises. In 2007, there were 20 planning applications for new homes with a further 15 applications for extensions and improvements. These figures highlight the growth within the sector and 2008 is expected to show a similar level of activity.”

Earlier this year the Bank established a dedicated Nursing Home lending team in Business Banking and developed new Nursing Home lending guidelines and credit criteria for the sector. Denis Bergin also added: “It is a good idea for nursing home operators to include the bank as part of their overall advisory team. The impact of a more challenging Irish economic environment means it is important to involve the bank in your development plans from the outset”. Bank of Ireland has been involved in a wide range of nursing home developments including the recently opened Oakfield Nursing Home, a state of the art facility with a 90 bed capacity in Gorey, Co. Wexford.

According to published statistics nursing home occupancy levels were 91.2% in 2007 up slightly on 2006 levels of 89.4%. Demand for nursing home beds is expected to rise steeply in future due to CSO projections that people aged 65 and over will reach 1.3 million in 2041 compared with just 460,000 in 2006. There are currently 18,800 private nursing home beds in Ireland and just over 1,000 new beds were added last year.

Also speaking at the launch of the fund, Tadhg Daly, Chief Executive of Nursing Homes Ireland said: “We in Nursing Homes Ireland are pleased to see this continued support for the industry and welcome the launch of the new fund. Over 65% of all nursing home beds are provided by the private and voluntary sector and there is a significant and growing move in the private and voluntary nursing home sector to provide skilled specialist care such as rehabilitation and brain injury care. Nursing home owners continually have requirements in respect of new builds, increasing capacity and enhancing existing provision. It is also necessary to have experienced lenders in place that understand and support the sector.”

Contact Details:

Denis Bergin
Head of Retail Intermediary Banking
Bank of Ireland Business Banking
Telephone: 01 665 3411

Anne Mathews
Media Relations Manager
Group Corporate Communications
Telephone: 01 604 3836 / 087 246 0358

About Bank of Ireland Business Banking:
Bank of Ireland has the most comprehensive Business Start-Up package available to new businesses, featuring a business current account that has a range of banking services free of charge for two years, and a suite of internal and external offers specifically tailored for the new enterprise.

It provides over 100 loans daily to the SME sector and currently approves in excess of 87% of all small business lending applications, with half of all applications getting an immediate decision in the branch, and the other half within 24 hours. In addition, Bank of Ireland is the only financial institution that will lend up to €25,000 to these companies without security.

The service is delivered through a network of over 600 business bankers, including a Business Advisor in every one of its 276 branches nationwide.