A NEW digital bank with a focus on British agriculture is to launch in the UK this year.

The Chester-based firm, Oxbury FS, will prioritise addressing farmers’ financial needs, but will also offer savings accounts to the general public and all businesses.

Its digital business model will rest on a ‘cloud-based API-first architecture’ and is expected to launch to market later in 2020.

“The current and longer-term trends in agriculture create a requirement for new and innovative approaches to managing farm business cashflow,” said Oxbury’s CEO and co-founder, James Farrar, who noted that for farms – unlike many other small businesses – the fluctuation of cashflow was far more heavily dependent on the seasons.

“Oxbury provides farmers with the specialised lending they need to run their farms and offers savings accounts to any individual or business that want to back British farmers and UK agriculture.”

Putting together minds of bankers, farmers and technology experts with the support of certain British agribusiness firms, the new bank wants to offer both lending and savings products to farmers to ‘help grow their businesses at a crucial time for UK agriculture’.

Mr Farrar said that there would be a board of directors with ‘decades’ of banking and agricultural knowledge – including ex-head of business banking at HSBC Huw Morgan and former Bank of England adviser Tim Fitzpatrick.