Bank increases lending to farmers

LLOYDS TSB Agriculture continues to demonstrate its strong support for growth and investment in the farming industry, with its lending to farmers growing by 14 per cent through 2011, compared to the agricultural industry lending growth of 4.2 per cent.

Gareth Oakley, agriculture director for Lloyds TSB Bank plc, said, “Bank of England figures for the 12 months to December 2011 show net lending to agriculture increasing by 4.2 per cent.

“We are committed to supporting the farming industry and for the same period we have seen a 14 per cent rise in supplying finance to farmers to help them strengthen their businesses.

“In addition, we were pleased to see over 800 farmers moving their banking to us, building on the 900 customers who moved in the previous year.“

Lending to the agricultural industry is bucking the national trend following improved conditions in most farming sectors.

Bank of England figures for the 12 months to December 2011 show net lending to agriculture increasing by 4.2 per cent compared to lending to other small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which shows a six per cent decline.

“Whilst some sectors lacked the confidence to borrow and expand, this is not the case for farming.

“The agricultural industry is increasing its borrowing as farmers become more confident about the longer-term future of the industry and are investing to provide a sustainable, profitable future for their businesses,” said Mr Oakley.

“Together with manufacturing and telecoms, we see agriculture as one of the top three sectors to grow output in 2012.

“We will continue to support farm businesses with specialist, locally based teams of agricultural managers who can offer farm-focused business solutions.”