Tim Cullinan, President of the IFA, has welcomed the inclusion of farmers in the government’s credit guarantee scheme, saying that it will serve as an important support for cashflow on farms during the current crisis.
The scheme is worth 2 billion euro to Irish businesses with an aim to assist viable SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), which under normal lending criteria are unable to borrow from their bank, in accessing credit.
‘Cashflow is key’
Commenting on this news, Cullinan said: “Cashflow is key for farmers at the moment. Farmers need access to working capital to cover their operating expenses during this unparalleled crisis.”
“Agri-merchants and co-operatives are not in a position to provide increased/extended credit to farmers, as they are experiencing their own cashflow problems as cash dries up.”
The IFA president stated that the three-month extension will give farmers “breathing space”.
“As part of the process Banking and Payment Federation Ireland (BPFI) members, which includes all the main Irish banks, have committed to actively contacting farmer customers who have already availed of the payment break about the possibility of extending the break for a further three months.”
“Farmer customers currently availing of the break do not need to contact their lender,” he explained.
The Tipperary native advised that farmers wishing to avail of the break for the first time should apply and receive approval from their bank/finance house.
“Stopping repayments without lender approval will impact on your credit history as your loan technically will be classified as non-performing after 90 days of missed repayments,” Cullinan concluded.