Bankers and farmers
Bank of Ireland has launched a drive to increase market share in the agri sector.
The banks says that, in a bid to become the number one farming bank, it wants to attract new customers. Bank of Ireland head of agriculture Sean Farrell said, "We know from speaking to the key industry stakeholders that there is an opportunity for us to grow our share of the agri lending market."
"We know there will be years in the future similar to 2012 when weather, prices and costs will provide challenges but we will continue to form our view of the sector based on average profitability across a number of years."
The bank revealed demand has been limited to date for a €25m fund for farmers launched last July to help with cash flow problems due to bad weather.
But it has added €275m increase to an existing €200m agri-farm investment fund.
A term loan designed to fund farm expansion, with an interest-only repayment option in certain circumstances, has been launched.
Customers must demonstrate capacity to repay full capital and interest when milk quotas no longer apply.
Seasonal funding allowing multiple draw downs (each at least 25% of the loan amount) and flexible repayments, has also been launched.
Livestock purchased for re-sale, land rental, feed, fertiliser, fuel and other general farm inputs can be financed.
"In the year to date, Bank of Ireland Business Banking has received on average 400 agri-loan applications a week," said Mr Farrell.
"The approval rate is over 80% for these agri loans. In addition, we approved funding for the purchase of over 12,000 acres of land during 2011."