NFU Scotland to survey members on bank costs

Concerns about farm cashflow, borrowing costs and credit terms are to be measured in a member survey by NFU Scotland.

Anecdotal evidence from farmers has shown increased worries about financial pressure and the demands being placed on farming businesses, said NFUS. That pressure came both from banks and from tightening credit terms imposed by some farm suppliers.

As well as the impact of high input costs, cashflow on some farms was being affected by delayed beef calf schemes and hill farm payments, said a spokesman.

A wide range in bank arrangement fees has been reported and the union is hoping the survey will be useful as a benchmarking operation, as well as to assess the state of the relationship between farmers and their bankers.

The union last surveyed members on banking and credit arrangements in December 2008, when one third of the 280 who responded had concerns about their overdraft rate and one in 10 had been refused an overdraft extension or had been asked to reduce their overdraft.

“The purpose of this survey is to dig beneath the anecdotal evidence and find out some facts on the cost of credit for our members and how readily available it is,” said president Nigel Miller.

Members can complete the survey anonymously and the findings will be discussed by the union with the banks. The survey asks for the member’s region and banking provider and offers the option to send respondents a personalised report showing how their cost of credit compares against the average for all respondents.

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