ICMSA Officers.
Pic: Don Moloney

ICMSA urge members with concerns to “engage early” with their banks.

Speaking following meetings with two of the main banks, AIB and Bank of Ireland, ICMSA’s Farm Business Chairperson, Pat O’Brien, has advised farmers who are worried about their farm finances to engage early with their banks and in a way that allows them the space and time any possible issues.   

“Obviously, weather-related issues  were one of the main topics of discussion at these meetings, but the credit facilities and associated interest rates available to farmers was also raised because we are very conscious that there has to be a pathway for farmers to ‘farm their way out’ of cashflow difficulties and the banks will have to show consideration and support to those farmers when that’s required”, added Mr. O’Brien.

The ICMSA Committee Chairperson said that the wintering of animals and paying for the increased fodder used and replenishing stocks will be crucial and – while it looks like weather conditions are improving this week – the fallout of the extremely wet and lengthy winter will be long-term and will require extra bank support in some cases.   Mr. O’Brien said that the banks have reassured ICMSA that they are willing to back their customers through a suite of available products.  Agri team members and support centres are on standby and farmers should be proactive in engaging with them to ensure that working capital is available, he said, and he confirmed that ICMSA had requested that the banks operate a ‘single point-of-contact’ so that farmers could explain their position speedily and time-efficiently.  

Mr. O’Brien said it was incumbent upon him to acknowledged that extra working capital has been leveraged this spring through merchant or Co-op debt and that once the dust has settled on this long indoor housing period, farmers should engage with the financial services available to them and confidently secure the best product available.  Banks, for their part, need to providing decisions quickly and apply competitive interest rates that will help farmers farm their way out of their difficulties.

Ends                  26 April 2024

Pat O’Brien, 087-2714091

Chairperson, ICMSA Farm Business Committee


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office