Belfast Telegraph

Farmers storm AIB meeting during loan sale protest

Members of the Irish Farmers’ Association made their way into the bank’s annual general meeting in Dublin.

(AIB/PA)
(AIB/PA)

Farmers have stormed an Allied Irish Banks meeting in protest at the sale of loans to vulture funds.

Members of the Irish Farmers’ Association made their way into the bank’s annual general meeting in Dublin on Wednesday as part of a nationwide campaign opposing the planned sale of farm loans by the state-owned bank.

AIB has agreed a deal to sell a billion euro-worth of bad loans to US-based fund Cerberus.

The portfolio comprises about 2,200 non-performing loans including mortgages. More than 100 farm loans are included.

IFA farm business chairman Martin Stapleton said AIB needed to recognise that farmers were trying to repay their debts.

“What AIB are proposing to do is inappropriate,” he said. “Selling (loans of) people who are genuinely trying to repay their debt is not the way to go.

“AIB must withdraw the loans of people who are genuinely trying to engage and get back to what they say they are doing.

“Backing brave means bravely backing people who are willing to bravely back themselves. And nobody has or needs more courage than someone who is willing to give their life’s work in order to pay back their debt.

“AIB need to recognise that, restore their reputation to the Irish people and get back to being a pillar bank in this country.”

The IFA has vowed to continue the campaign until the bank withdraws all farm loans from the sale.

PA

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