Last Friday, the Bank of Ireland said that it will earmark 2 billion euros (£1.74 billion) that is intended for lending to small and medium businesses that require capital to adapt to the challenges of the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
The central bank of Ireland has said that a disorderly Brexit could have very severe and immediately disruptive impacts on nearly all areas of the economy of Ireland.
According to the assessment of the central bank, if the United Kingdom would leave the European Union without a deal, it could knock as much as 4 percentage points off the growth rate of the Irish economy in its first full year, and up to 6 percentage points over a decade.
The CEO of Retail Ireland at Bank of Ireland, Gavin Kelly, stated: “This 2 billon euro fund will provide support to businesses regardless of how the UK exits the EU.”
He added: “Many will need to adapt how they operate as the Brexit outcome becomes clearer. Brexit isn’t ‘business as usual’.”
A spokesperson for the Bank of Ireland said that the fund is intended for Brexit-related lending. She stated that it will also support businesses that have deferred Brexit plans due to the heightened uncertainty in the market because of the Brexit negotiations.
She added: “Some of these businesses have no dealings with or through the UK, but have decided to wait until outcome is known to proceed with their plans.”
The fund aims to provide loans for investment purposes, help SMEs improve their cash flow and solve working capital issues, support invoice discounting, and provide guarantees to tax authorities for exporters and importers who will face having to pay customs and tariffs at the point of entry when moving goods through Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The director of CBI Northern Ireland, Angela McGowan, stated: “If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, overnight, businesses in Northern Ireland could cease to enjoy the benefits of tariff-free trade with, and easy access to, crucial markets for products and services, from Canada to South Korea. ”