Oxbury appoints two agricultural luminaries as board members

Oxbury appoints two agricultural luminaries as board members
NFU Mutual Event - Chairman retires 24.09.2019 Picture by Ed Nix

Oxbury, the new specialist agricultural bank, has appointed two new industry leaders to its board, adding to its highly experienced team.

Simon Featherstone, former CEO and chairman of the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC) and Richard Percy, former chairman of NFU Mutual, are the latest to join Oxbury’s board of directors.

Set to launch later this year, the bank – based in Chester – will provide targeted lending and savings products for farmers and growers. Its founding team is made up of both farmers and market leading agri-businesses, with vast experience and understanding of the sector.

With decades of experience in agricultural finance and farming between them, Mr Featherstone and Mr Percy will support Oxbury on its mission to be the UK’s leading bank for farmers.

“We are delighted that these two sector leaders have agreed to serve as directors on our board,” says James Farrar, CEO and co-founder of Oxbury. “They bring a wealth of experience in both farming and finance that will help us to become the go-to bank for farmers and those who wish to get good rates and support British agriculture and countryside stewardship. For Oxbury to attract people of their stature and experience is a significant endorsement of our mission.”

He adds: “Oxbury’s founding team and investors combine market leading agricultural knowledge with decades of banking experience and that’s true for our board too. Mr Featherstone and Mr Percy are becoming part of a business built for the sector, by the sector.”

It was an easy decision for Mr Percy to join the board: “To be involved at the start of what will become a leading agricultural bank is very exciting,” he says. “Farming is crying out for a bank which understands the nuts and bolts of what we as farmers do and is able to provide proper informed decisions at a personal level about lending to farming businesses.”

Mr Featherstone feels that the expertise of a specialist agricultural bank is long overdue in the sector and the current Covid19 challenge has only reinforced this. “I’m delighted to be helping the UK’s first new bank entirely focused on bringing dedicated expertise to supporting agriculture and the rural sector.”

The pair join other financial services veterans on the board, including the chairman Huw Morgan, former head of business banking at HSBC, and former Bank of England senior adviser, Tim Fitzpatrick.

Oxbury received its banking licence in January 2020 and is currently in an interim pilot period, during which the bank will continue to recruit farmer customers and set out its savings proposition, before becoming a fully operational bank later this year. It recently began its third funding round in search of investors looking to back British agriculture.