IFA Farm Business Chair Rose Mary McDonagh has welcomed the launch of the low-interest Government backed Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS). This follows Bank of Ireland’s announcement of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland’s (SBCI) backed low-cost loan facility titled BILS.
It’s open to both farmers and SMEs affected by Brexit. Rose Mary McDonagh said all farmers were impacted by Brexit and continue to be affected by the uncertainty. They must all be eligible to apply for this new low-interest loan facility.
The loan terms are between 1- 6 years, with the IFA Farm Business Chair stating she’d like to see this term extended to at least 10 years to allow for a more practical repayment time frame for capital investment on farms.
At present, the only financial institution offering the BILS loans is Bank of Ireland. Rose Mary McDonagh called on the remaining financial institutions to follow BOI’s lead and offer this BILS loan to their customers as soon as possible.
Loan amounts up to €500,000 can be borrowed unsecured under the BILS at a competitive low interest rate. This BILS loan feature will be very attractive to farmers, particularly for the many young farmers starting their career in agriculture, who may not have significant assets to use as security.
IFA has met with Bank of Ireland to go through the BILS loan scheme in detail. The Farm Business Chair will request a meeting with SBCI to ensure the application process is as simple as possible and that the maximum possible amount of low-interest finance is directed to farmers.