Oxbury, the UK’s specialist agricultural bank, has been approved by the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
As an authorised bank it will soon be able to launch to market, offering bespoke funding to farmers through industry partners including Frontier and HL Hutchinsons.
“Oxbury is a new specialist bank founded by the farming industry for the farming industry,” says CEO James Farrar.
“We’re delighted to have received our banking licence and to be bringing to market the only UK based bank that has its thinking, expertise and empathy exclusively focussed on the agricultural market and the needs of British farmers.
“Our founding team and investors are farmers and market leading agribusiness companies that farmers know and trust, coupled with the expertise needed to run a specialist bank.
“This trust is essential at a time of great change and opportunity in agriculture that is being embraced by forward thinking farmers to secure the prosperity of British farms in a sustainable manner.”
The bank will now enter an interim ‘mobilisation’ phase before becoming fully operational later this year, after a short pilot period. It has also simultaneously launched its third funding round in search of investors looking to back British agriculture.
“Farmers have been consistently telling us that they want a bank that understands their individual businesses, that understands farming and the agricultural sector and that is looking to build a relationship between real human beings at the bank and the farm business,” says managing director Nick Evans.
“All of this with modern technology and competitive pricing. This is what we are looking to deliver.
“It is a rare opportunity to back an industry you believe in and we hope that more like-minded investors will join us for our next funding round and become part of our mission to build the UK’s leading agricultural bank.”
The newly authorised bank will offer lending products specifically designed for British farmers as well as competitive savings accounts for businesses and the general public who wish to save with confidence that their funds are supporting UK agriculture.
Its flagship account is ‘Oxbury Farm Credit’; an exclusive facility which gives farmers the flexibility to buy inputs like seed, fertiliser and animal feed when needed and pay for them when it suits their cashflow.
This innovative account – an alternative to a bank overdraft or trade finance – helps solve the cashflow problem faced by farmers having to fund their inputs months before selling the produced goods, which has been holding back the growth of their farms and tying up valuable cash in the production cycle.
Oxbury Farm Credit accounts will initially be available to medium-to-large arable and dairy farmers through their existing suppliers including HL Hutchinsons, Frontier Agriculture, Mole Valley Farmers and KW.