Isle of Man-based bank creates livestock loan scheme

An Isle of Man bank has launched a new loan scheme in partnership with the island’s abattoir in a bid to boost local livestock production.

Conister Bank will offer livestock farmers on the island loans for up to 18 months to fund the purchase of young calves, with the understanding that the finished animals will be bought by Isle of Man Meats.

The bank said the scheme – believed to be the first of its kind in Britain – would offer hard-pressed cattle farmers a “ready-made stream of capital”, with a guaranteed return on investment and no penalties for early loan repayments. It added that the loans would be offered at competitive rates, with decisions on finance made within hours.

“As the island’s only independent bank, we want to help support and sustain the local agriculture sector,” said Conister Bank’s business development manager Andrew Bass.

“In effect, we are providing farmers and others associated with the industry with an overdraft facility to improve their cash flow, so they can buy the stock they urgently need. It will enable producers to get a guaranteed return for healthy animals.”

Isle of Man Meats chief executive John Dawkins said the initiative had the potential to rescue the island’s diminishing livestock sector. “We are competitive against UK prices, so there is no reason for stock to be leaving the island. We firmly believe this partnership agreement with Conister Bank will help kickstart greater local beef production and keep beef on the island where it rightfully belongs,” he said.

He added that it would offer an incentive to bring younger farmers into the industry. “This could present a great opportunity to some of our younger farmers to either establish themselves in the beef sector or expand their numbers where credit has been a limiting factor.”


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