UK Agricultural Finance chief Robert Suss says he is thrilled to see the business become the first sector specialist lender included on the NatWest Capital Connections panel.
The move means that the specialist agricultural business finance company joins a select group of leading alternative finance firms on the panel.
And Suss, Co-CEO and Co-founder of UK Agricultural Finance, adds that he has a huge amount of pride in the company becoming the tenth lender to join the panel and the first industry specialist.
As a result, Capital Connections, which helps SMEs access alternative sources of capital outside of traditional financial backing, can for the first time offer a new source of lending to their customers in the farming community.
Suss said: “We are thrilled to be the first sector specialist lender included on the Capital Connections panel. We understand the pressure on British farmers to be globally competitive, innovative and eco-friendly is greater than ever.
"This will enable us to provide more rural businesses and farmers with vital access to capital to enable them to diversify, sustain, grow and improve their businesses.”
Capital Connections works by signposting a range of innovative sources of finance to business customers. This can range from crowdfunding to marketplace lenders and now, agricultural and rural finance.
UK Agricultural Finance is a specialist lender for the agricultural sector, providing traditional, responsible lending to farmers with a range of non-regulated loans secured against agricultural land and property across England, Scotland and Wales.
Ian Burrow, NatWest’s Head of Agriculture & Energy, said the move has been one coupled with great excitement and that it highlights the fact that traditional funding is not always the best way for businesses when it comes to farm finance.
He added: “We are excited to welcome our first specialist industry finance provider to Capital Connections. Traditional funding routes are not always the best option for businesses in the rural community.
"Now UK Agricultural Finance will be able to provide loans to help farmers diversify, acquire more land, build renewable energy projects, restructure, buy more livestock, help families with generational transfer and provide tenant farmers capital to purchase their farm.
"They are an ideal partner for us and complement the impressive and innovative range of alternative lenders already on the Capital Connections panel.”
Meanwhile, the news has been met with delight by Lord Davies of Abersoch, Chairman of UK Agricultural Finance. He said: “The new partnership between UK Agricultural Finance and Capital Connections will be transformational in supporting the farming community with access to flexible and reliable finance. We are delighted to be part of the panel and to add our specialist experience to the innovative range of companies already involved.”
UK Agricultural Finance joins Funding Circle, Assetz Capital, Start Up Loans, Seedrs, Together, iwoca, MarketInvoice, Esme Loans and NatWest Social & Community Capital. Each provider has been selected to cover a range of different funding products and include a mix of specialty finance and peer-to-peer lending.