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Union Surveys Members on Banks and Credit

NFU Scotland has reissued its survey to members regarding their current relationship with their banking providers and the costs they face in obtaining or maintaining credit and overdraft facilities.

With a difficult harvest in progress and prices of feed, fertiliser and fuel all rising at extreme rates, some NFUS members have expressed worries about the financial pressure and demands being placed on their farming businesses.

The Union has previously surveyed its membership on banking and credit arrangements in December 2008 and March 2011.  

The Union will be meeting with the Agriculture committee of the Scottish Clearing banks in late autumn to discuss the results of the survey and the lending conditions affecting its members.

NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker said:
“The pressures on many farm businesses are building.  The poor weather means that harvest is proving to be time consuming and costly.  In many sectors, marketplace returns are poor to average and for those keeping cattle, sheep, pigs or poultry, feed costs are rocketing leaving prospects for autumn and winter gloomy.  Support from the banking sector to the industry may be more important than ever this coming year.

“Anecdotally, some farmers have already had difficult discussions with their banking providers over long term credit, availability of loans and access to sufficient overdraft facilities.  Since the credit crunch, the fees associated with lending, and in particular overdraft facilities, have risen markedly for many farm businesses despite the overall inherent stability in agriculture.

"Reports from members who are finding it difficult to secure finance from the banking sector for new projects is also disappointing given UK Government statements on helping small businesses and increasing lending.  A sector like agriculture, which has been relatively robust during the recession, shouldn’t struggle to secure the borrowing that would help it to generate jobs and drive economic growth in rural Scotland.

“The purpose of this online survey is to get some evidence on how the relationship is between farmers and their banks. We will then sit down and discuss the results with the banking sector how any issues can be addressed.   For many banks, farmers tend to be long established clients working in an industry that continues to offer a relatively low level of risk to lenders.   We hope the survey will show that loyalty is still reflected in the service farmers are receiving from their lenders.” 

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • Members can complete the survey online at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NFUSbankcreditsurvey2012
  • The survey, which can be completed anonymously, asks how long the business has been with its current bank, details on its overdraft limit, arrangement fees, interest rate on overdraft, recent rate changes and any banking issues.

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 89/12


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