TLT International Director Paolo Garavellie has told AgriLand that he intends taking HSBC Bank to the High Court following the decision to place the livestock exporting business in receivership last Friday.

“This was a ridiculous decision on the part of the bank,” he added.

“One that was taken with no warning on its part. We tried to seek a compromise as a means of finding some way to salvage the situation. However, the only approach taken by HSBC was to withdraw our line of credit with immediate effect.”

He continued: “I am taking legal advice on all these matters at the present time. However, I can confirm my intention to take HSBC to the High Court.”

Garavellie went on to point out that the receivership option represented the worst of all options for all the parties involved. “There will be collateral damage created because of all this,” he stressed.

TLT has been banking with HSBC in the UK for the past two years.

“It’s a total indictment of the Irish banking system that we had to go across the water to find finance. As a company we have been woven into the fabric of the Irish livestock sector for the past 20 years,” Garavelli concluded.

Commenting on the entry of TLT International into receivership, the chairman of ICMSA’s beef and cattle committee, Michael Guinan, said his organisation was receiving frantic phone calls from farmers all over Ireland who had recently sold animals to the company or its agents and were now literally sick with worry about their prospects of being paid.

“Some of the sums owed to individual farmers are very substantial indeed and we’re back here to the lesson, which cannot be repeated too often: farmers must always insist on being paid by bank draft or if they accept a cheque our advice is to never let the animals out of your yard until the cheque has cleared.

“The ICMSA will be looking for a meeting with the receiver and its accountant here in Limerick immediately and our priority will be the monies owed to individual farmers. The broader issue is the need for our live export business to be strengthened and made viable and that is in all our interests – certainly the interests of our farmers who badly need another option to our domestic factories – and that broader issue will have to be addressed in due course,” concluded Guinan.