Bank of Ireland has launched a £1.75 billion Brexit fund to help businesses across the island of Ireland prepare for the UK’s departure from the EU.
In addition to running more than 250 events across the island aimed at supporting SME customers in the past 18 months, Bank of Ireland’s team of business advisors, sector specialists and treasury managers are providing support and advice to customers on a daily basis with one-to-one meetings taking place across the country.
Ian Sheppard, Northern Ireland Managing Director, Bank of Ireland UK, said: “I am delighted with the launch today of Bank of Ireland’s £1.75bn All-Island Brexit Fund.
“The bank’s Northern Ireland business will have full, demand-led, access to this fund which enhances our capacity to meet the needs of local business customers and supports cross-border and other international business.
“Our business advisors are talking to customers on a daily basis and we know that some customers need further support with stocking facilities, foreign currency management and working capital in the lead up to Brexit.
“In the recently published NI Chamber Quarterly Economic survey 50 per cent of their members report that Brexit is having a negative impact on costs which in turn impacts cash flow. Bank of Ireland is ready to support our customers whatever the outcome for Brexit.
“In our experience we are seeing that larger businesses are better prepared, which is understandable given their scale and resources.
“Businesses of all sizes and in key sectors, such as agri, manufacturing and hospitality, are looking to mitigate risks associated with Brexit, for example access to labour and labour costs.
“Our customers are sharing their concerns and opportunities with us and we know that our significant all island presence means we are well placed to support them.
“The fund strengthens Bank of Ireland’s Enterprise Programme which recently launched a partnership with the Centre of Competitiveness delivering seminars urging businesses to look beyond Brexit and focus on performance enhancing strategies such as benchmarking, innovation, digitisation and the adoption of specific legal approaches to ensure they can maintain a competitive edge.
“Brexit isn’t ‘business as usual’, but we are here to support our customers flex, adapt and thrive.”
The bank is encouraging businesses to engage with local teams across Northern Ireland, to come and talk to it and work together in understanding their business and the funding supports and options available.
n Contact a Bank of Ireland UK business advisor or visit www.bankofirelanduk.com/business/