With a rich history of funding successful agricultural business ventures over several generations, Yorkshire Bank is very much a part of the farming landscape. The Bank has taken its final steps towards transitioning to the Virgin Money brand for business customers. With relationship managers across the country offering localised and industry-specific advice, the Bank’s agriculture team is known for its farming background – either from first-hand farm experience or a career in agri-banking. This means the team now rebranded as Virgin Money has deep roots in farming communities that make them able to appreciate the daily ups and downs their customers face.
With 175 years of financing and farming heritage, the Bank’s agriculture team has accumulated unique specialist knowledge and sector-related expertise over the decades. Now it represents the largest specialised business sector for Virgin Money, having a strong track-record of helping enterprises find success across the United Kingdom. Through its provision of finance and financial guidance, this rebrand speaks to national ambitions to support the needs of agricultural customers in a new era for rural livelihoods.
Speaking about the shift, Brian Richardson, Head of Agriculture for Virgin Money said:
“In terms of the nuts and bolts of the provision that we offer our customers there is very little that will change. Our relationship managers are all specialists in the field of agriculture and are all very familiar with their regions, and the Virgin Money brand won’t change that. For farmers, this means that the Agricultural team will be very much the same people in the same areas, who will be supporting them in their aspirations and financial plans.
“Post-Brexit, and at a time when farming is changing, we as a Bank will be accompanying our customers as we have done for generations, through this period of transition and with even more momentum behind us.”
With these upcoming challenges for agriculture, including: shifting trade relations, frequent climate events, and evolving subsidy support, Virgin Money understands these big questions as much as the day to day issues on the farm. Keeping up with productivity, and changing consumer trends, can be challenging for farmers. This is why at Virgin Money our Regional Managers will keep delivering up to date specialised industry-leading advice and guidance, with a strong focus on funding Net Zero, green operations, and agri-tech.
Brian Richardson, now head of agriculture for Virgin Money, commented on the significance of taking Yorkshire Bank’s history and experience forward:
“The name has changed, but what the regional leads will be doing is the same. They will continue building on the Bank’s deep foundations, and our relationships with farming families that have stood the test of time.
“This is a chance to consolidate and build on almost two centuries’ of experience under the Virgin Money brand. Our heritage means that the nation-wide team of sector specialists has 537 years between them! This means we can really keep delivering on our commitment to farming customers: to help them build profitable and sustainable agri-businesses for the future.”
Bringing the brand and banking technology into the 21st Century means Virgin Money can provide easier access to account holders, and an innovative approach to farming finance.
Looking to the future, Brian Richardson concluded by saying: “We’ve always known how much Relationship Managers being on the farm really does make a difference for customers. And, as the whole farming sector steps into a new era, we’re going to be focusing on future planning, and providing the diverse streams of support that our farmers need – both digitally and face to face. As Head of Agriculture at Virgin Money, I will be ensuring our experts can deliver useful new tools to those in the field, such as benchmarking tools and Carbon Audits for farm operations.”