Farmers facing tough times are being encouraged to talk to their bank early and often in an information resource launched today by the New Zealand Bankers’ Association at Fieldays.
“We all know that the agri sector is hugely important to our economy. We also understand the volatility and complexity of the sector,” said New Zealand Bankers’ Association chief executive Kirk Hope.
“That’s why we’ve put together an information sheet about how banks can help farmers facing financial challenges.
“Banks work in partnership with farmers to support their businesses through good times and bad. Two-way communication is essential, particularly during times of financial stress.”
Depending on farmers’ particular circumstances, there is a range of potential measures available across the banking sector, including:
- Reducing or suspending principal payments on loans and temporarily moving to interest-only payments
- Allowing term deposits to be broken without associated costs
- Low interest loans for investment in key environmental systems and projects
- Waiving fees associated with restructuring business loans
- Providing access to short term funding
- Financial management and budgeting advice
- Access to workshops on improving farm productivity and performance.
“The key is acting before the event takes place, having plans and a budget in place, and keeping your banker and advisers in the loop,” Hope said.