2015-11-02  

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NFU Scotland Meets the Bankers

NFU Scotland has met with the major clearing banks to discuss financial requirements for the agricultural sector as we enter a difficult winter period.

Meeting at the Union’s head office at Ingliston in Edinburgh, representatives of Clydesdale Bank, Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, TSB Bank and Santander, focussed on the impact poor commodity prices, rising input prices and delayed support payments could place on farming businesses in the months ahead.

cash

Whilst NFU Scotland continues to press Scottish Government to make a clear statement on when support payments will be made, and what value will be attached to those payments, it is clear that the traditional payment window of early December will not be met. The Union’s opinion is that no payments will be delivered by Scottish Government in December and business planning will only be assisted by a clear timetable being identified.

Speaking after the meeting with the banks, NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker commented:
“Having already had conversations with the agricultural supply trade about delayed payments and cash flow problems this winter, it was important that we had that same conversation with our leading banking providers, and what arrangements need to be put into place to assist farming businesses.

“Banks have already told their customers that they are able to provide bridging loan provisions to cover the period from when direct payments were expected to arrive and when they will arrive. “It is important that any farmer who thinks they may need to make use of this provision contacts their bank early.

“For those banks with a large number of farming customers if all customers wait until December, the traditional time for payments to arrive, then the provisions may not be able to be put in place as quickly as some farmers may require. It is important that farmers review their position now and if they need more room in their overdraft to speak to their bank as soon as possible.

“Overall, our banking sector remains very supportive of the agricultural industry as a whole but we stressed that it is more important than ever that support continues to be shown when an individual farmer goes to their bank to discuss overdraft provision, lending and cashflow projections for the coming year.

“It is important that farmers have these discussions with their banks sooner rather than later and that clear information from Scottish Government around the amount of support payments a farmer will receive and when it is likely to be paid would be a huge benefit to these difficult discussions.”

NFUS

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