€330m scheme now available through credit unions
Low-cost loans from €25,000 to €1.5 million for up to six years
The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD along with Joe O’Toole, Chair of the Metamo Credit Union Group and Alan Kelly, Chief Executive of Metamo have today announced the launch of the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS) through five Metamo credit unions.
The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme is a successor to the Brexit Loan Scheme and will provide up to €330m in low-cost lending to eligible Brexit-impacted businesses. While its predecessor had been available through participating banks, the BILS will now also be available through participating credit unions, ensuring wider accessibility of the scheme. The scheme is already accessible through Bank of Ireland and AIB. Loans under the scheme are for terms of up to six years and for investment and working capital purposes and will help businesses as they respond to the changes and challenges Brexit has brought to their trading environment.
The scheme is operated by the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) and delivered through participating lenders. It is supported by a counter-guarantee from the European Investment Bank Group.
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD said:
“I know many business owners have personal relationships with their local credit union and trust them when it comes to advice and services so I’m particularly pleased that Metamo Credit Unions have decided to come on board the updated Brexit Impact Loan Scheme. The more lenders that take part, the more options businesses have.”
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD said:
“I welcome the participation of the Metamo group of credit unions in the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme. As community lenders they bring greater choice to farmers, fishers and food businesses as well as other SMEs, ensuring this important source of finance extends as far as possible throughout the country”
Minister of State at the Department of Finance, Séan Fleming said:
“The Government is committed to supporting businesses facing the difficulties caused by Brexit. Today’s launch by Metamo means that now both the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme and the COVID-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme will be available from select Credit Unions around the country. It also highlights the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland’s work to expand lending beyond the retail banks. This means that more businesses will be able to access low-cost lending from Credit Unions and thereby providing alternative sources of capital.”
Joe O’Toole, Chair of the Metamo Credit Union Group said:
“We are delighted that the Government has approved five Metamo Credit Unions as the first community-based lenders to participate in its new Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS). These short to medium-term loans will play a vital role in helping micro, small and medium enterprises and primary producers to deal with the financial impact of Brexit on their respective businesses.
Engagement with this scheme is another progressive step for the Metamo Credit Union Group as we continue to expand credit union activity in the broader financial services sector. We are no strangers to supporting local businesses, they are our neighbours and friends. We look forward to working with them in our community as we strengthen our robust sustainable relationships with these businesses into the future.”
Alan Kelly, Chief Executive Metamo said:
“Metamo’s participation in this new loan scheme is great news for the five Credit Unions selected and for the communities that they serve. This brings to 10 the number of Metamo Credit Unions involved in SBCI schemes and underscores the huge progress that is being made by the Group. We intend to continue to develop our business lending capabilities with a view to deepening support for our Credit Unions’ members.
Metamo’s model is all about the power of the collective being used to bring greater opportunities for our Credit Unions and for their members. The real winners from today’s announcement are the small businesses that our Credit Unions will help through this new scheme in locations across Ireland.”
June Butler, CEO of SBCI said:
“The SBCI welcomes the inclusion of five Metamo Credit Unions in the new, enhanced Brexit Impact Loan Scheme (BILS). This inclusion will help further expand the competition in the Irish finance market whilst providing SMEs with greater access to local finance providers. This scheme, through its on-lenders such as Metamo, will continue to support and help more Irish SMEs, farmers and fishers get access to low-cost, flexible finance as they respond to the ongoing impacts of Brexit and the new challenges facing many SMEs, in the coming years, as the UK phases in border controls.”
The Brexit Impact Loan Scheme provides low-cost loans to Brexit-impacted Irish businesses, including those in the primary agriculture and seafood sectors. The scheme makes a fund of up to €330m available to eligible businesses with up to 499 employees.
- Loans range from €25,000 to €1.5m
- Loan terms from 1-6 years
- Loans of up to at least €500,000 available unsecured
Loans can be used for:
- Liquidity/Working capital
- 100% refinancing of existing Brexit Loan Scheme loans
- Refinancing of existing short-term credit, up to a maximum of 30% of the new loan
Businesses eligible for the scheme:
- This scheme is available to eligible SME and small Mid-Cap businesses, including primary producers (businesses engaged in farming and fishing), established in Ireland.
- A business must also have experienced an adverse impact of minimum 15% in actual or projected turnover or profit due to the impact of Brexit.
Loans provided under the scheme are provided at lower interest rates than is otherwise typically available on similar lending in the market and vary according to the lender. Lenders participating in the scheme are separated into two cohorts. For the first, interest rates are variable, but capped at an initial maximum rate of 3.7% for loans less than €250,000 and 2.75% for loans of €250,000 and above. For loans from the remaining lenders, a minimum discount of 1% relative to their standard rates is required for loans under the BILS.
There is a two-step application process:
- Businesses must first seek eligibility approval for the Brexit Impact Loan Scheme by the SBCI. Eligibility applications can be made online through the SBCI website.
- Businesses must then bring their eligibility reference number to a participating lender in the scheme and complete the lenders’ loan application process.
The five Metamo Credit Unions participating in BILS are:
- Access CU
- Cara CU
- St. Canice’s CU
- St. Francis CU
- Savvi CU
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department has lead responsibility for Irish policy on global trade and inward investment and a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.