We’re open for business, bank tells farmers planning on expansion

Agriculture  Minister Simon Coveney; Helen Gee of  G's Gourmet Jams; and Bank of Ireland chief executive Richie Boucher.  Picture: Dylan Vaughan

Bank of Ireland is advising all dairy farmers with sound expansion plans that it is interested in lending money.

Bank officials told farmers attending the ‘BoI Agri and Food Conference’ in Kilkenny yesterday that its general approval rate for loan applications was running at 80%, and that the agri-food sector was enjoying an even higher success rate.

“We are constantly driving the message that the bank is happy to extend credit to the agri-food sector,” said Sean Farrell, head of agriculture with Bank of Ireland Business Banking. “We have a very favourable outlook on farming, particularly the dairy sector post-2015.

“We believe Irish farming has significant advantages over other markets and we are interested in lending to agri and food businesses. That said, every loan application is individual, and the applicant must be able to prove their capacity to repay the loan.”

Mark Cunningham, director of Bank of Ireland Business Banking, said it was great to see an emphasis being put on increasing innovation and transformation by big employers and successful business leaders in Kilkenny.

“At Bank of Ireland, we are lending to 500 small businesses and farmers every week across the country,” he said. “Our total approved lending to the SME and agri sectors of €2.7bn to the end Sept 2013 was 6% ahead of approval levels in the same period during 2012. Over 80% of all loan applications to the bank from SMEs are approved for credit.”

He said figures show an uplift in new lending approvals across retail, manufacturing and property sectors.


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