The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD and the Minister for Agriculture, Food & 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.
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
- Canice’s CU
- Francis CU
- Savvi CU