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Oxbury Bank, the agtech cum neobank of Britain

Oxbury Bank caters exclusively to the needs of farmers and agriculturists in Britain. At the same time, it offers its technology as BaaS globally:

Oxbury Bank, the agtech cum neobank of Britain

Oxbury Bank is a challenger British bank that services farmers and the rural economy. It claims every pound saved with it supports the viability of British food production. The bank offers specialized lending to run a farm and specialized savings accounts that truly supports the country’s farmers.

Equipped with a full banking license from the British regulators (both FCA and Bank of England), its flagship offering is ‘Oxbury Farm Credit’. It also has savings accounts to other businesses and the general public.

The bank’s CEO and Co-founder James Farrar says: “This is an important milestone in bringing to market the only UK-based bank that has its thinking, expertise and empathy exclusively focused on the agricultural market and the needs of British farmers.” James had spent 17 years at the Bank of Scotland and had stints at HSBC, Nationwide and ClearBank.

CARBON ISSUES

Chester-based Oxbury Bank says: “Our lending services will solve the cashflow problem faced by farmers having to fund their inputs many months before receiving income from the sale of the produced goods, which has been holding back the growth of their farms and tying up valuable cash in the production cycle.” And one of its key missions is to support agriculture’s transition to a low-carbon economy and help the UK to meet its ambitious pledge of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

It has unique products for this. For example, its Oxbury Forest Saver account pays out interest in carbon reduction. If a customer earned £155 in interest, the bank will plant 100 trees for him, using a fixed cost of £1.55 per tree. These trees can then be used to offset the customer’s carbon liabilities as an individual or as a corporate.

SUPPORT NEWGEN

The neobank is committed to support the NewGen farmers in Britain by funding their ventures and helping them with advice from agriculture experts, ensuring the customer gets the best chance for success. It provides up to 100% of the financing required, depending on the business plan of the applicant. Business and financial advice will also be provided by the neobank, which will foot the bill of experts (it has a panel of independent national and regional farm advisors).

The neobank was founded by a 3-member team comprising Nick Evans, who was with Bank of Scotland, James Farrar, who headed ClearBank, and Tim Coates, who is basically a farmer, but who is an expert in financial regulation. It was formally launched in early 2021 and got a balance sheet of £100 million in a year.

Any individual, business or farm business can open an Oxbury savings account. The neobank offers competitive interest rates.

AN AGTECH CUM BANK

The neobank is more of an agtech. It has chosen to develop its technology infrastructure in-house. It had used the services of a low-code development platform Naqoda since 2018 to develop its bespoke banking platform Oxbury Earth and acquired the firm in 2022. Leveraging this acquisition, it now intends to operate as a neobank domestically and as a banking-as-a-service provider globally. It is known to be in discussions with prospective customers in markets with similar regulatory and legal frameworks.

MAJOR PRODUCTS

Oxbury Bank offers all its services – lending products and savings accounts – through a web portal and a mobile app. Its 4 lending products are: 1. farm loans that support long-term financial requirements and are tailored for farm needs including carbon reduction projects, renewable energy and farm infrastructure.; 2. Farm credit to fund inputs/supplies required for farming; 3. Flexi credit, which is a revolving credit facility to finance farm invoices; and 4. New Gen that supports new farmers aged between 18 to 40 years old by providing funding and advice. (NewGen, is a first-of-its-kind initiative to provide funding for new farming ventures and advice to a new generation of farmers.)

The lending and savings accounts are accessible 24 hours a day and dedicated relationship managers offer advice to support the needs of the customers.

The neobank also offers savings accounts to individuals, businesses and farms, which are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to £85,000 per person.

FUNDING AND LENDING

Oxbury Bank had secured £25 million in tier-2 capital funding from British Business Investments, which is a subsidiary of British Business Bank. In addition, it received £100 million through an ENABLE Guarantee transaction from British Business Bank.

The neobank had distributed over £750 million in loans and accrued savings exceeding £1 billion. Its aim is to offer loans worth £1 billion across the farming and food supply chain by 2024.

Oxbury Bank’s predominant aim is to help farmers take advantage of opportunities by funding improvements in efficiency and productivity, reducing carbon footprints, producing energy, growing high quality crops and livestock for home production and export, diversification and much more.


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This article has been compiled based on publicly available information on the web, particularly the bank’s own website.

 

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