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Could banks do more to help farmers? Lords to ask HSBC and Barclays

The House of Lords EU Committee on Energy and Environment will tomorrow take evidence from HSBC, Barclays the European Investment Bank and NFU Mutual on the role for banks in supporting agriculture and helping farmers manage risk.

The evidence session will start at 11:00am on Wednesday 3 February in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords. Giving evidence to the Committee will be:

  • Oliver McEntyre, National Agriculture Strategy Director, Barclays Agriculture
  • Allan Wilkinson, Head of Agriculture, HSBC Bank Plc
  • Lindsay Sinclair, Group Chief Executive, NFU Mutual
  • Dr Harald Jahn, Head of Division, Natural Resources and Agro-Industry, European Investment Bank (EIB)

Areas the session will cover include:

  • How financial institutions are responding to increasing agricultural price volatility.
  • The role of the European Investment Bank in facilitating cheap loans for farmers.
  • How effective the Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs has been in supporting UK farmers to get access to EIB support.
  • The financial products available to UK farmers and whether farmers have the skills and knowledge to access these products.
  • The move from Direct Payments to support farmers in cases of price volatility to an insurance based system and the pros and cons of publically funded insurance schemes.
  • Are Common Agricultural Policy Direct Payments to farmers a disincentive to innovation or a useful tool in protecting farmers from price volatility?

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