NATWEST STATEMENT – Foot & Mouth Outbreak
As a leading banker to the UK livestock industry we are clearly aware of and sensitive to the serious implications that Foot and Mouth has for livestock farmers and indeed the whole meat and livestock processing sector. Given the sustained pressure the industry has been under for a number of years now, we fully appreciate that many of our customers are already stretched in terms of their financial reserves and will be assessing the impact this problem will have on their cash flow.
Our aim is to work with our customers. We have already issued instructions to our managers to ‘stay off livestock farms until further notice’ and wherever possible to conduct meetings either off-farm or ideally over the telephone. It is however vitally important that customers, by whatever means, maintain full and regular dialogue with their business manager and in particular that they flag up any specific needs they may have at the earliest possible opportunity, particularly if existing limits are likely to be breached.
We recognise that a number of other key industries and businesses - especially food production, agricultural services and tourism - will be affected by the foot and mouth disease. Any customers facing difficulties should contact their bank and we will look at each on a case by case basis.
The Royal Bank of Scotland Group has already announced it is donating £1 million to charities working to alleviate the hardships being encountered as a result of the foot and mouth crisis.