Farmers have exhausted the current Future Growth Loan Scheme (FGLS), accounting for 41% of the overall loan numbers.

Some €252,141,950, was drawn down, with an average loan value of €187,058.

The scheme was administered through the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), which said that food businesses accounting for another 8% up to quarter three in 2020 – which are the latest figures.

“Based on loan values, farmers account for 25% of sanctions, with food businesses accounting for another 11%,” the SBCI said.

While they were not able to give a sector breakdown, it was previously shown that the highest demand for loans was from dairy farmers.

While the FGLS is exhausted, farmers can hope for lending another scheme, which is expected to be put into play once the required legislation has been cleared.

Banks, Credit Unions and financial providers are being invited to take part and help facilitate a new Brexit Loan Scheme, which will provide loans to businesses, including farmers, if they were affected by Brexit.

It’s expected that loans will be available from €25,000 up to €1.5m and the overall loan fund is worth €330m.

Although interest rates will be decided by each lender, it’s expected that loans will be provided at a discounted rate in terms from one to six years, with up to €500,000 available unsecured.

Previous loan schemes have been heavily drawn down by farmers and funding has been exhausted in many such schemes, including the FGLS.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said is was his hope that the scheme would be available to a wide range of businesses that had been affected by Brexit.

Loans can be used for:

  • Liquidity/working capital.
  • Investment.
  • 100% refinancing of existing Brexit Loan Scheme loans.