Real Engagement Between Banks and Farmers in Credit Difficulty Required – Downey

IFA President Eddie Downey has said that, while the banking environment has improved, a number of difficult farming credit cases remain unresolved.

Mr Downey said, “As a capital-intensive industry, there is a need for ongoing investment on farms, and farmers require access to competitively-priced credit from the banks. The farming sector has always had a strong repayment record, which was maintained throughout the downturn. However, a number of difficult farm credit cases remain, and I am calling on the banks and the farmers involved to engage constructively to find solutions to these”.

He continued, “The core principle on which negotiations must be based is that both sides contribute to the retention of a viable family farm enterprise, where at all possible. The banks must be fair in their dealings with farmers and not impose conditions that cannot be met by the farmer or that impose a long-term, unsustainable burden”.

Eddie Downey continued, “However, a small number of farmers are not engaging realistically with their banks in finding solutions to their credit difficulties and, in doing so, are potentially undermining the borrowing credibility of the overall sector”.

In a clear direction, Mr Downey said, “IFA will not stand over cases where there is no real engagement by the farmer with their bank, or where a deal has been agreed and is then not honoured. In the long run, there are no winners in these combative situations, with huge legal and other professional costs incurred”.

Mr Downey strongly advising farmers in such situations to engage with the banks and address their

The IFA President criticised the pillar banks for taking excessive interest margins given the cost of their funds is at an all-time low. He said Irish taxpayers have paid huge sums in supporting the banks and its time they saw a dividend in the form of reduced interest rates and charges.

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