Lack of succession plans jeopardise farm businesses

More than four in 10 UK farmers have no formal succession plan, according to a survey of almost 400 arable and dairy farmers by Barclays Bank.


Lack of planning on such an important issue puts farm businesses at risk, warns the banks’ head of agriculture Martin Redfearn.


“Planning who will take on both the business responsibility and the assets of a farm can be a sensitive subject and not necessarily something people want to address. Without that vital plan, future years, if not decades, of hard work are being put at risk.


“Succession planning doesn’t need to be an arduous or expensive process, but it does need to be considered far earlier and in a more formal way than it currently is.”


Financial planning, tax and legal issues needed the best possible specialist advice, said Mr Redfearn.


“Succession planning doesn’t need to be an arduous or expensive process, but it does need to be considered far earlier and in a more formal way than it currently is.”
Martin Redfearn

“This lack of involvement could impact negatively in both the short and long term, losing the farm valuable time and money,” warns the bank.


Barclays’ succession survey results:



  • 44% have no succession plan

  • 38% of those with a succession plan do not involve their successors in the running of the business day to day

  • Almost 24% of those planning to hand over to a family member (in 75% of cases a son) admit that the successor should be more hands on

  • A quarter of those without a plan admit that it was because they simply had not thought about it

  • One in four (27%) claims they do not have anybody to leave their farm to

  • 16% believe they do not need a plan

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