Backing Britain with 'crucial boost' to agriculture
In the year since the UK’s referendum on EU membership, Barclays has prioritised helping UK customers and clients through this period of uncertainty, but also one of potential opportunity.
Every sector is having to cope with the uncertainty around Brexit and how it will affect their business. Farming has felt that uncertainty particularly acutely, with concerns about commodity prices and poor weather impacting output, adding further pressures to the industry.
At the recent Great Yorkshire Show, Jes Staley, Group CEO, announced that one year after its launch, Barclays will double the agricultural fund to £200m this year. These loans will help to future-proof the industry for the next generation.
Jes commented: “It’s at times like these that UK Agriculture needs a crucial boost from banks to weather any uncertainty. We want to help farmers thrive over the short-term and also to plan for a strong future. We are pleased to extend our dedicated UK Farming Loan Fund, responding to demand from farmers.
“Barclays has been supporting UK agriculture for almost 300 years – one of our constituent banks in Yorkshire, the York Union Banking Company, was commonly known as ‘The Farmers’ Bank’ – and the sector is critical to fuelling the UK’s economy and households.”
Barclays Agriculture has also introduced new flexible cashflow finance to help crop and livestock farming businesses that are expanding rapidly plan ahead without the worries of cashflow, and to purchase essentials such as seed, fertilizer or livestock when they need it.
NFU Deputy President Minette Batters said: “We welcome this announcement from Barclays, which recognises its willingness to invest in farming, that will improve business efficiency, the take-up of new technology or to diversify to generate new revenue streams.
“This comes at a time where despite the tentative signs of price recovery, the sector is still far from seeing levels which will sustain a long-term and profitable farming industry.