A group of DUP representatives have met with senior members of Danske Bank to raise the financial constraints of Northern Ireland farmers.
Upper Bann MP David Simpson said: “The meeting with Danske Bank officials was our opportunity to raise the concerns of the local diary industry. As a delegation we pressed the officials to look sympathetically at the financial constraints farmers have been facing.
“I was encouraged with their sympathetic attitude towards the crisis and we have called for a closer working relationship to be established between the banks and local farmers.”
He continued: “It is important that our banks continue to see agriculture as a positive investment and that they support farmers who have viable businesses but who are experiencing short term cash-flow issues at this difficult time. We stressed that the Bank must be approachable and that set-up fees be kept to a minimum.
“This meeting is the start of an ongoing dialogue which we intend to have and we will continue to monitor the Bank’s attitude towards lending.”
He concluded: “Farming in Northern Ireland today is not an easy occupation for anyone; and with continued bureaucratic barriers and poor weather conditions only adding to their difficulties. I want to ensure local farmers that I will continue my discussions on their behalf with representatives from each level of Government.
“Their asset to Northern Ireland can not be under-estimated and it is vital that they work within a system that is providing the financial and physical rewards they deserve.”