August 10, 2018
The Queensland Farmers’ Federation has welcomed announcements by Westpac and ANZ that they will now allow farmers to offset money held in Farm Management Deposits (FMDs) against their agricultural lending.
QFF CEO Travis Tobin said the backdown by Westpac and ANZ – which followed intense lobbying by rural groups and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud – meant farmers do not need to consider switching banks to access this useful risk management tool.
“The offsets provision was an important part of the positive and proactive FMD reforms that passed Federal Parliament in early 2016 but until recently, Rural Bank was the only financial institution to offer farmers the opportunity to use their FMDs to offset their borrowings,” Mr Tobin said.
“NAB, CBA and Rabobank recently followed Rural Bank’s lead after the Royal Commission hearings and constant pressure from Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, and we commend his persistence on this issue.”
“With all the major agri-lenders now offering FMD offsets, whether to switch banks or not is one less decision farmers will need to make. With drought pressures mounting, this will be welcome for many.
“Farmers and country people are tough, but this protracted drought is challenging for even the most resilient.
“QFF thanks the banks for backing rural and regional Queensland by giving farmers another tool to manage risk and plan for the future.”