Banks not helping SME farmers according to new poll

A recent YouGov poll has found that 80 per cent of small and medium sized businesses in the farming sector feel that banks could ‘better support them’.

One of the key concerns highlighted by this new study is that many High Street banks did not have the specialist knowledge of the agriculture sector to properly help farming clients.

The trend suggests that this was an issue for a steadily growing proportion of SMEs in the agriculture sector – rising from 26 per cent in 2015, to 39 per cent in 2017.

Around 31 per cent of ARA businesses want banks to be more committed to the sector in general, but transparent fees were also a key concern for farming communities.

Banks have been encouraged to increase their sector specific knowledge by a number of organisations and there has been a drop in the number of SMEs complaining that banks are unwilling to lend.

This issue of failing to lend still remains an issue for one in five agriculture businesses, but there has been a gradual decline from 29 per cent eight months previously, which is either a result of fewer farmers seeking loans or banks being more open to lending to rural businesses.