9 January 1998

MFfinance move aims to spread services net

By Andy Collings

EIGHT out of every 10 tractors acquired in the UK are now purchased with the help of finance schemes, and a significant percentage of other machinery is also bought on this basis.

Such is the extent of the agricultural finance business in the UK – a multi-million pound operation which has bloomed and prospered in recent years.

One of the most recent changes on the finance front comes from Massey Ferguson Finance which has now changed its name to Agricredit.

At first sight, it is a move which bucks current trends – bearing in mind an increasing number of manufacturers appear keen to put their name to their own finance schemes. These "customised" finance schemes are, of course, extensions of a handful of major finance companies.

But Paul McCarthy, Agricredits managing director is adamant that the move away from the Massey Ferguson connection will ultimately bring a greater degree of business.

"The problem with any branded finance package is that customers, quite naturally, believe it is in place just to purchase that product," he explains. "Changing the name to a less non-descript designation will hopefully encourage farmers to use our services to purchase a whole range of equipment – not just MF kit."

In fact, Mr McCarthys remit is for Agricredit to provide finance services for the purchase of all AGCO products, plus the range of kit carried by AGCO dealers.

And that, of course, now also includes the Fendt range of tractors which AGCO has now taken over the distribution from Bonhill Engineering.

Agricredit is backed by De Lage Landen, a subsidiary of Rabobank – De Lage Landen recently acquired a 51% interest in Agricredit Acceptance Company (AAC), the finance company of AGCO.

Like several other finance companies, Agricredit also offers insurance in terms of personal accident and life cover, and insurance for farm equipment.

Paul McCarthy, managing director of Agricredit:"We want to encourage our customers to use our services to purchase a whole range of equipment – not just MF kit."