Wednesday, November 19th – As part of today’s Department of Agriculture / Teagasc National Dairy Conference 2014 – Countdown to Quota Abolition – Bank of Ireland has outlined a range of supports which are targeted to support the business needs of the agri sector.
These supports include a new range of flexible products – AgriFlex – which are specially targeted at encouraging the development of Ireland’s important agricultural sector whilst also supporting farmers during times of commodity price volatility. Bank of Ireland also has a €1 billion fund to support the on-going development of the agri sector up to the end of 2017.
Bank of Ireland is the number 1 bank for SMEs in Ireland, providing over 50% of new non-property lending to SMEs in 2014. The bank has had a particularly strong performance in our agri business, and continues to provide more than 50% of new lending into the agricultural sector. Nationally, Bank of Ireland is providing funding for the purchase of over 400 acres of land per week.
Tom Hayes Chief Executive of Corporate Banking at Bank of Ireland, participating at today’s event in the session entitled Managing Volatility in a Post Quota World, commented:
“As the largest lender to the Irish economy, and the bank which is providing more than 50% of new lending to the agri sector, Bank of Ireland clearly sees this sector as being of significant importance to the Irish economy in the period ahead. Underpinning this importance, the bank has both a €1 billion fund to support the on-going development of the agri sector and a new product which is of real relevance to farmers dealing with volatility.
“AgriFlex offers customers the opportunity to mitigate the impact of volatility in the sector by applying for an interest only period on their term loans with Bank of Ireland which will free up cash flow during times of short term drops in farm income. It also provides the customer with the opportunity to accelerate their repayments in times of favourable market conditions.”
Milk quota restrictions will end from April 2015, whilst Harvest 2020 sees a 50% increase in milk production. Bank of Ireland estimates that a 50% increase in production will require approximately €1.3 billion investment at farm level. While recent decreases in milk prices may temper expansion ambitions, market expectations are that milk prices will begin to recover during 2015.