FinanceNatWest agriculture specialists on importance of farming

NatWest agriculture specialists on importance of farming


THE psychological image of a financial institution supervisor in wellies striding throughout a windswept subject or sitting down and speaking beef, dairy or sheep manufacturing shouldn’t be simply conjured up.

However it’s the vibrant actuality for the workforce of specialist agricultural relationship managers at NatWest.

They’ve a sizeable and various farming neighborhood to take care of throughout the entire of the UK, with round 2,000 shoppers within the South West and Wales alone.

“It’s not everybody’s cup of tea within the banking world, however it’s a must to have a ardour for it,” says Jo Wingfield, agricultural relationship director within the area.

She covers the portfolio from a business banking perspective.

“We’re all extremely obsessed with our sector and serving to our farmers, a lot of whom face powerful instances and fixed challenges. And we’re there, on the patch for them which is completely very important,” she stated.

NatWest has developed a specialty in working with and supporting farmers.

All the connection managers have agricultural {qualifications} and coaching in points like local weather change, a essential topic within the sector.

Andrew Woodthorpe is director of enterprise banking, and the co-head of agriculture for the South West and Wales. He stated: “Individually and collectively we have now developed an enormous quantity of data over time.

“We have now power and depth within the sector and lots of nose to nose relationships and that’s completely essential.”

The south west is an enormous space for the financial institution and contains Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Wales, Shropshire, Oxford and components of Hampshire.

There are round 30 specialist agricultural relationship managers throughout the patch out of a complete of round 120 nationally.

Andrew stated: “You may see from these figures simply how necessary farming is to our area by way of livelihoods and meals manufacturing.

“There’s additionally big range, every part from dairy, to beef and lamb manufacturing, vegetable rising, arable. If it’s being farmed you possibly can assure we have now acquired it.”

Farming has by no means been the best of sectors, dependant as it’s on many variables just like the climate and worth volatility within the market.

This yr, they’ve needed to cope with rocketing price of vitality and diesel and the worth and availability of fertiliser for instance.

Jo stated: “We have now actually inspired our farmers to diversify lately. Whether or not that be a farm store, entering into renewables, letting out lodging and even establishing merchandising machines of their communities.

“If you’ll forgive the pun, it’s extra necessary than ever to not put all of your eggs in a single basket.”

She stated a part of the job was about making desires come true.

“The opposite day I helped one among our tenant farmers purchase his farm and that was a improbable feeling. After renting for 30 years, we have been capable of lend him the cash the cash to purchase it,” she stated.

However typically there are tougher conversations available, for instance about lowering a farm’s carbon footprint, being extra accountable to their clients and guaranteeing they’re legally compliant. There’s a big quantity of environmental regulation and that’s at all times pure price.

Jo added: “This isn’t a sector the place you possibly can cope with shoppers by means of a name centre. You want individuals on the bottom and the farmers actually respect that assist.


“Farming is pressurised and annoying, there’s fixed juggling and it may be a lonely career. Farmers might not see anybody from one week to the following except they go to market they usually don’t at all times know what’s going on out within the wider world. Being there for them is important.”

NatWest was the primary to launch its farm assist packages in 2022 and has been having in depth conversations for a lot of months about prospects, predictions and planning for 2023 and past.

Each Jo and Andrew at all times urge farmers to have early conversations and never let issues construct up.

Andrew stated: “There are some huge points developing. We’re there for our farmers. The farming sector has acquired higher at driving out storms and adapting however there’s there loads of uncertainty on the market in the intervening time.

“We need to have these early conversations. We haven’t acquired all of the solutions however we’re right here to assist.”


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