IFA members launched a campaign against AIB's proposed sale of farm loans to an overseas vulture fund outside the bank's AGM in Dublin this Wednesday.

Around 100 farm loans were included in AIB's planned sale of debts to an affiliate of US-based vulture fund Cerberus.

“It is wrong that AIB would sell these loans to a vulture fund, that is not interested in resolving issues by entering into long-term arrangements with farmers,” IFA’s farm business chair Martin Stapleton said as protesters held placards questioning the bank's marketing slogan, "Backing brave".

Nationwide campaign

According to the IFA, AIB sold loans despite having engaged with many farmers to resolve issues around their debts.

"This gave false hope to farmers who are under serious pressure,” Stapleton said. “Irish taxpayers retain a 71% stake in AIB. We bailed out this bank when it was on its knees, but there is no such mechanism is place for people who are genuinely doing their best to meet their repayments," he added, calling on Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe to intervene.

The IFA is now planning to bring its campaign around the country by maintaining a rolling presence outside AIB branches to highlight concerns over loan sales to the bank's customers.

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