The IFA has called for the repayment term on the new Brexit loan scheme to be extended to at least 10 years.

Its farm business chair Rose Mary McDonagh welcomed the launch of the low-interest Government-backed Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS).

However, she called for a more practical repayment time frame for capital investment on farms.

The BILS is open to both farmers and SMEs affected by Brexit. McDonagh said all farmers were affected by Brexit and continue to be affected by the uncertainty. They must all be eligible to apply for this new low-interest loan facility, she added.

At present, the only financial institution offering the BILS loans is Bank of Ireland and 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.

The IFA has met with Bank of Ireland to go through the BILS loan scheme in detail and intends to meet with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (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.

Among the terms of the scheme are that a business must have experienced an adverse impact of a minimum of 15% in actual or projected turnover or profit due to Brexit.

More on this scheme in the next edition of the Irish Farmers Journal.