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Tips: How to secure finance in an increasingly difficult environment

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Analysis by FGInsight shows farm borrowing may become more difficult for those with outstanding debts this year. Farm finance experts share knowledge on the best way to secure funds in an increasingly harsh environment.

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Industry chiefs agree those looking for extra funding in 2016 could see increased scrutiny over their finances and the sector they trade in.

 

Experts gave their tips on how farmers can give themselves the best chance to gain funding.

Clear and coherent strategy

Andrew Suddes, regional consultancy manager at Promar International, said farmers could expect to have their assumptions tested and thinking challenged when applying for funds.

 

"Any business seeking significant new facilities to manage cash flow or to carry out capital expenditure needs to expect to be confronted with a rigorous process to justify bank support," he said.

 

"A clear and coherent strategy for the business and a comprehensive set of projections will be needed."

Be honest, be in control

Rob Hitch, partner at accountancy firm Dodd and Co, said most banks just wanted to know farmers were doing what they could to keep their eyes on costs.

 

"Have as much information available as possible for your bank manager," he said. "What you think you are likely to do cash-wise, who you owe money to and how much."

 

"Having that information readily available demonstrates you are in control of your business and it is not in control of you."

Know your reasons for borrowing

Simon Eales, senior sales and agricultural Manager at AMC, said those with good reasons to borrow still stood a good chance of approval.

 

He said: "While there might be an overall reduced appetite to borrow for investment purposes in the coming year, for those businesses where the rationale for the investment is sound, together with robust figures and ability to service the loan, there is no reason why funding should not be available."

Communication is key

For farm businesses expecting to see cash flow issues, having a good relationship with lenders is key, the NFU suggested.

 

"We have been asking members to be in communication with banks if they are likely to have a problem with cash flow," he said. "Keep modifying those budgets and keep talking to your bank."

 

Will farm lending be squeezed in 2016?

With the downturn across UK commodities continuing, FG looked at whether farm lending would continue to rise, and how securing further funding could become difficult for those with borrowings.

 

Click here to read the article.

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