13 July 2022
By Tom Collins
Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher (who lives in Cork North Central) is seeking a detailed study into how the EU’s finance and banking regulations are affecting the agricultural sector in terms of its ability to secure access to credit.
Kelleher, a member of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) has co-tabled an amendment, along with Dutch MEP, Caroline Nagtegal, requesting the European Banking Authority to undertake a thorough assessment of the impact of the Capital Requirement Regulation (CRR) on agricultural financing over the next number of years and again by 2030.
“For years, we have seen how farmers are losing out in terms of their engagements with the banking system. I firmly believe there must be a realisation that agricultural financing is not the same as many other forms of commercial financing. The financing of farms is in no way comparable to the financing of other economic activities.
“My amendment would also require the European Commission to draft a legislative proposal, if deemed necessary, to amend the CRR to mitigate any negative effects on agricultural financing.
“Access to credit for farmers is one of the key issues affecting the viability of family farms in Ireland. The dogs on the street know that banks are very slow to lend to farmers, and I believe this is due in no small part to the banking legislation in effect right now.
“My amendments are the first step in addressing the challenges farmers face in terms of securing access to credit. Over the next number of months, I will work closely with my colleagues to secure the changes we need to support our agricultural community,” concluded Kelleher.