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WHOSE HOUSE IS IT ANYWAY?

It comes as no surprise these days that the world of buying your first home has become an increasingly difficult one to navigate. Gone are the days of being able to finance your first home, and also have overflow cash readily available for furnishing and renovations. This year’s introduction of the new mortgage rules has made the process somewhat more difficult for both first and second time buyers to gain access to the funds required. As a result of this, the average age at which couples are buying their first homes has increased greatly in recent years.

 

With these new mortgage rules making it increasingly difficult to save for your first and then subsequent second home, the issue then becomes saving that extra bit of cash to furnish and renovate any problematic areas of your new home. Thankfully, a new Bank of Ireland mortgage initiative promises to help you with this arduous task.

 

Bank of Ireland already promise customers the lowest available 3 year fixed term rate available and 12 month approval. Now, in addition to these promises, Bank of Ireland are offering customers who are first time buyers, movers, or those interested in switching an existing mortgage to Bank of Ireland, 2% cashback on their loan.

 

While 2% may seem an insignificant number at first glance on paper, this could be of great benefit when your savings have immediately gone into the new requirements for deposits. Where there was no real wiggle room to start work on your new home, there now is an unexpected sum available at your disposal. Get thee to a DIY store!

 

To put this figure into perspective, if you are to borrow €150,000 for your new home, Bank of Ireland will then lodge€3000 into the account used for the mortgage. Bank of Ireland state that this payment will be made within 45 days from the mortgage being drawn down. Just in time to start collecting tiles for that new bathroom you would like to put in.

 

This offer applies to mortgages drawn down between 3rd June 2015 and 31st December 2015, so this is a good time to do a check on those all-important savings and hopefully make a move towards your new home.

 

Buying a home is a very expensive yet rewarding endeavour and it is a relief to see some new initiatives announced to assist people on their way. Should you require any assistance with your own savings, finances, ormortgage arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact us here at DCA Accountants.

VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDING

Venture capital groups have become one of the most popular methods of gaining equity. This method has become so popular of late that Irish Venture Capital Companies have become one of the primary sources of funding for SME’s.

The purpose of venture capital groups is to provide equity to growing start-ups.  These groups may also act as a mentor of investment as they often provide essential advice to the companies in whom they invest as well as assisting in the expansion of the company.

 

It was reported in February of this year that Venture Capital Funding for SME’s had hit the 400m mark. This is the highest level of venture capital funding seen in over 10 years.  Over 80% of this money was dedicated to the expansion of existing companies. This growth in the popularity of venture capital funding has lead to growing confidence among Irish entrepreneurs.

 

Obtaining venture capital is very different from raising debt or a loan from a lender such as a bank and is an option that should be considered carefully. One of the ways in which this method of funding is unique is that instead of seeking security on their investment, lenders of venture capital will usually charge interest on the loan. Another way in which this option is different is that venture capital is invested in exchange for a stake in your company; creating a symbiotic relationship between the investor and the company they are investing in. The investor’s return is dependent on the profitability and growth of our business.

 

Recent research has shown that Venture Capital backed companies grow faster than other companies. Research has also shown that these companies are more profitable than their peers at a similar level. As well as injecting cash into the business, the investment is also likely to inject the start-up with credibility

 

So, is Venture Capital a viable option for your company?

Venture Capital is the best option for you if you are hoping to rapidly grow your company, and have the ability to protect your intellectual property throughout the investment period. In order to appeal to venture capital investors it also helps to have a USP (Unique Selling Point).

 

If you decide that Venture Capital Funding might be for you, you must ensure that your investor has a strong track record, excellent credentials, industry contacts that can help you grow your business and the time to invest in growing your company.

 

There are a wealth of venture capital funds available in Ireland at your disposal. For your convenience we have compiled a short list of those available:

 

  • AIB Seed Capital Fund
  • AIB Start-Up Accelerator Fund
  • Bank of Ireland Early Stage Equity Fund
  • Bank of Ireland Start-up and Emerging Sectors Equity Fund
  • SOS Ventures Ireland Fund
  • Frontline Ventures Fund
  • Delta Partners
  • Enterprise Equity

It is vital to choose the correct investor for your business, as your investors will be some of your most important contacts. Your venture capital provider should be able to provide advice and guidance as well as capital and it should be a relationship that will grow alongside your company.

SBCI LOANS

Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland

In March of this year, a new low-cost loan fund was announced by the SBCI. This new fund could see SMEs and the farming sector have greater ease of access to much-needed funds through some of the country’s major banks. As of late March, its board of six directors has been confirmed, taking this from a pipe dream to a very real and tangible option for the growth of smaller Irish businesses.

This fund will offer long-term working capital through major lending institutions. Its purpose is to offer SMEs and the farming sector more flexible products than are currently available to them. They will offer low-cost funding to financial institutions. The idea being that these savings will then be passed on to SMEs. AIB and Bank of Ireland have already signed up as partners.

So what is the SBCI?

The SBCI is the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland is a new bank launched in the last quarter of 2014. It is hoped that it will become the primary source of funding for SMEs in coming years with the Government hoping that over €5billion will be made available to SMEs in the future.
The initial funders for this new banking venture are the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the KfW German promotional bank.
The SBCI is a strategic SME funding company with the primary goal of creating access to flexible funding for Irish SMEs. The SBCI aims to:

  • Provide flexible products with flexible repayment options.
  • Provide lower cost funding to major lending institutions to be passed on to SME’s and the farming sector.
  • Create real market competition for new entrants to the SME lending market.

AIB are currently offering customers looking for a new business loan of up to €30,000, an answer within 48hours. They are also offering loans at a 2% discount from their Standard Business Loan Rate. Funding of up to €5m for the growth and expansion of your business will be made available. Their terms will be between 2 and 10 years.

Is a loan with SBCI the right choice for your business?

These loans are open to most SMEs. This form of funding is open to your business providing it meets the following criteria:

  • The company must have a turnover of €43m or less.
  • The company must not be part of a wider group of businesses.
  • The company must have less than 250 employees.
  • The company must have a significant presence in Ireland.
  • The company must have less than 25% of their capital held by public bodies.
  • It is important to bear in mind that your chosen lending body will need to share your information with the SBCI

We would advise consulting with your local participating lending body in order to ascertain your company’s eligibility for this scheme. If you have any queries at all about this fund and how it could benefit your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us at DCA Accountants.