The chairman of Tipperary ICMSA Seamus Troy has said the announcement by ACC that it was withdrawing all banking services will cause huge concern.
He said the institution’s farmer customer base will, in most cases, be faced with making completely new banking arrangements.
Mr Troy pointed out that the cessation of current accounts and overdraft facilities would effectively force farmers to move all their banking to a new institution and that would involve major disruption and the likelihood of increased charges as well as possible legal fees to cover the transfer of liens or mortgages.
In terms of the possible damage to the overall farming and agri-food sector, the Thurles farmer said that the disappearance of another source of credit and financial services to Irish farm families was very regrettable and that it was in the national interest that every effort was made to locate and bring in financial institutions that could supply the credit at reasonable terms that was so necessary for the state’s biggest and most dynamic exporting sector.
Meanwhile, the news has also raised concerns among the ICSA, with its president, Gabriel Gilmartin, expressing alarm over the decison.
“Less competition is bad news for farmers and other businesses. We are already seeing the impact on business of less competition where loans are harder to get and fees and interest margins are creeping up. This is bad news for farmers and business, especially progressive enterprises that are expanding and increasing exports,” he said.
“It is very worrying that the likes of Rabobank are pulling the plug. The Government needs to urgently examine what can be done to ensure sufficient competition in banking and how to expand credit to export oriented businesses such as farming. The news is a worrying development and it will be a big concern to businesses and farmers who will now need to deal elsewhere,” said Mr Gilmartin.