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Co-ops cut lending rates

The Central Cooperative Bank (CCB) announced on Friday it was cutting its rates for agricultural loans by an average 2.0 per cent, in a bid to boost the sector as part of the effort for economic recovery.

Effective January 1, the CCB said it was cutting the rate on loans to 4.75 per cent. It also said that the rate for non performing loans that are restructured will be cut to 5.75 per cent.

Provided the terms of the restructuring agreement were observed, after six months the rate would be further reduced to 4.75 per cent.

The cuts will be an average 2.0 per cent for performing loans, the CCB said. They will affect around 8,500 loans

“We support our customers in the primary sector by rewarding them and providing them with additional incentives so that they can continue, or gain the ability, to meet their obligations,” CCB chairman Nicolas Hadjiyiannis said.

The reductions follow a similar move regarding student loans back in November.

As part of the island’s €10 billion international bailout, co-ops received €1.5 billion in taxpayers’ money to recapitalise.

The sector has been reduced in size through mergers, which saw the island’s 93 co-operatives merged into 18.

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