Farmers still able to access lending despite virus disruption

Farmers are still able to access lending despite the disruption caused by Coronavirus, according to UK Agricultural Finance (UKAF).

Rob Suss, co-founder at UKAF, has said there has been a regular flow of loans – with increasing enquiries in recent months – and the business lender has been able to remain writing loans with secure funding lines. The ability to lend against agricultural land has enabled flexibility in the challenge of valuing properties during lockdown.

Mr Suss said: “The nature of farmland and buildings make social distancing much easier to maintain. Indeed, some loans are proceeding based on a mix of a Red Book valuation on the land and barns, but an estimate on the farmhouse.

“We designed a loan for 38% Loan to Value (LTV) and persuaded the main lender to release part of their security over a couple of fields for UKAF’s first charge, topped up with a second charge against the remainder of the farm.

“We are able to do so without changing our lending criteria, since our investors understand the long-term, attractive nature of farming.”

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