ILCU supports Cultivate as the credit unions’ national farm finance brand
Posted on: 21 Apr 2022
Ahead of the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) AGM and Conference in Belfast this weekend, the ILCU has offered its support to Cultivate in becoming the national farm finance brand for Ireland`s credit union sector. This is an important example of the growing collaboration within the sector.
Cultivate provides unsecured lending of up to €75,000 to farmers across the country. Cultivate loans are used to develop farm buildings, invest in stock, working capital, and the purchase of tractors and machinery.
As long established leaders in the personal lending market, credit unions are diversifying their loan portfolios by increasing their presence in business, agri and mortgage lending. It is widely acknowledged by credit unions that cross-sector initiatives and economies of scale are required if this expansion into new areas is to have a real impact in the market.
Announcing the ILCU`s support, Helene McManus, President of the ILCU, said, “Cultivate has established a strong brand identity in Irish farming in the past few years. What began as a pioneering local initiative by four Galway credit unions just five years ago is now widely available across the country.”
Ms McManus continued, “The ILCU supports Cultivate as the agri brand of Irish credit unions. Most of the credit unions that offer Cultivate loans are members of the ILCU. We encourage any ILCU-affiliated credit union that wishes to enter the agri lending market to do so as part of the Cultivate brand.”
The President said that the ILCU is keen to actively participate in the evolution of the Cultivate proposition. “We look forward to playing our part and adding value where we can as the Cultivate product offering evolves in response to market opportunities.”
Speaking on behalf of Cultivate, Chairperson Joe Healy said: “Cultivate is delighted to have received the support of the ILCU. This support is a massive boost to us as we seek to achieve our ambition of making Cultivate available to every farmer in the country.” Cultivate loans are currently available from over 120 credit union offices around the country, and the number of outlets is growing all the time.
Mr Healy continued: “As the largest representative body of Irish credit unions, the ILCU is a key stakeholder and a key voice in the credit union sector. Cultivate’s success has been built on a collaborative platform through engagement with all the key agri stakeholders including farmer representative bodies (in particular the IFA), agricultural advisers and training bodies (in particular Teagasc), agri businesses and merchants, accountants, marts and so on.
We are delighted to have the ILCU support this collaborative platform. And we look forward to working with the ILCU and all other stakeholders as together we improve and expand the Cultivate loan offering.”