Farmers use credit status to dig into cheap loans

Wheat - Britain's farmers have gone on a borrowing spree - SantanderCB

Figures show that Britain's farmers have gone on a borrowing spree, using their gold-plated credit status to access cheap loans. A surge of successful applications for credit saw nearly £12.5bn advanced to farmers last year, representing the highest annual rise since records began 15 years ago, according to the British Bankers' Association. Total lending to farmers and other rural businesses has grown by 24% in two years from £11.1bn in 2013 and £10bn in 2012. Although the agricultural sector accounts for just 0.7% of the economy, compared with 78% for services and 11% for manufacturing, banks are more willing to lend to farmers than any other sector, with lending on an annual basis falling only once since the onset of the 2008 financial crisis. Farmers in northern England and the south east saw the biggest percentage jump in loan approvals over 2014, both increasing by 15%.


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