New RIC variable interest rates on 1 February 2023

Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) today announced the variable interest rate on all farm business loans including Drought, AgBiz Drought, AgriStarter and Farm Investment Loans, will move from 3.04 per cent to 4.52 per cent effective from 1 February 2023. Plantation Loans will change from 2.62 per cent to 4.07 per cent.

RIC's variable interest rate is not linked to the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cash rate, but instead is based on the Australian Government 10-year bond rate averaged over a 6-month period and includes administrative costs.

RIC Chief Executive Officer, John Howard said farm business loan customers continue to benefit from access to low-interest loans that provide the time and space needed to plan their business cash flow.

"We are pleased to offer traditionally lower interest rates to support farmers and farm-related small businesses to remain viable and set themselves up to be in a better longer-term position," Mr Howard said.

"Our customers know that we review our rates twice a year, and any change in interest rates takes effect on 1 February and 1 August. The interest rate remains certain for six months, bringing greater predictability for customers to plan for anticipated movements.

The RBA has increased its cash rate 8 consecutive times, up by 3.10 per cent since May 2022. In comparison, during the same period, RIC concessional loan rates have moved once on 1 August and will have increased by 2.21 per cent with the next change effective on 1 February 2023.

"RIC loans have helped to save individual RIC loan customers an average of over $27,800 in interest repayments in 2021-22 alone. This has enabled farmers breathing space to set-up, invest, recover and prepare for future risk including natural disaster," Mr Howard said.

Farm businesses with a concessional RIC loan benefit from no fees and charges, bi-annual low variable interest rates and interest-only terms over the first five years of the loan, followed by principal and interest repayments for the remainder of the 10-year loan term.

Variable rate changes are applied to existing loans effective from 1 February 2023. All new farm business loan applications will be subject to the new rate.

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