Farmers flock to take up delayed payments fund
Lloyds Banking Group says it has made an additional £120 million available in overdrafts to farmers following a delay in their annual EU subsidy payments from the Government.
Each year around 100,000 farmers in the UK receive about £2 billion in EU funding via the Basic Payment Scheme. Although the “window” for these payments remains open until June 2016, many farmers expect the payments in December so that they can make use of it straightaway or plan their cashflow for the year ahead.
However, Lloyds’ analysis shows that farming customers received considerably less in Basic Payments to their bank accounts in December 2015 compared with the same period in 2014. As a result, the group has met requests for an additional £120 million in overdrafts to support working capital as of the 1st January, compared to the same period in 2014.
Andrew Naylor, head of agriculture, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “UK farmers have had a tough year and having a delay to their payments will have caused further uncertainty and worry. The fund has already helped to reassure many farmers and keep their business moving, whether they are looking to buy livestock, invest in crops or simply manage their cash flow.
“The RPA, DEFRA and Scottish Government have announced that they are doing all they can to make the vast majority of payments as soon as possible but support is also available through our network of specialist agriculture managers. We will be able to look at each customer’s situation and see how we can support them.”