Craig Dickson, Director, Agriculture Scotland Commercial Banking RBS; Penny Montgomerie, Chief Executive, SAYFC; Paul Tinson, Development Manager, RSABI
Volunteers led by Craig Dickson, Director of Agriculture for RBS Commercial Banking, will cycle and row on stationery machines, spurred on by donations of change from visitors at Europe’s largest agricultural show.
The marathon effort, which will take place over all four days of the show, will also be supported by Scottish elite development rugby player Finn Russell and Scottish international Greig Tonks.
RBS will also be demonstrating the benefits of mobile banking for Scotland’s more remote communities at the Royal Highland Show.
Visitors will be invited to inspect the latest mobile branch, complete with a satellite for internet connection and iPads to allow customers to conduct their own online banking.
Staff will also be on hand to introduce customers to the RBS mobile banking app, and RBS will donate £1 to the STV fund every time a show visitor downloads the app onto their mobile phone or tablet.
RBS has a long history of supporting agricultural businesses, employing 130 independently accredited agricultural specialists, many of whom have a farming background and expertise in crops, dairy, livestock, farm taxation and EU policy. Some will even be joining the show’s cattle judging panel.
The bank has been partner of the Royal Highland Show since 1981, and linked up with the RSABI early in 2013, after a former chief executive of the charity criticised banks for not doing enough to support struggling farmers.
The story encouraged Dickson to contact the RSABI: “For the bank to really make a difference to farming customers, we need to do more than just lend money. We need to be part of and play an active role in the farming community. That’s why partnerships with farming charities and other organisations are so important.”
Members of the RBS Agriculture team visited RSABI offices to take part in workshops explaining how the bank makes lending decisions. They also provided information about the bank's wet weather support packages, which give farmers flexibility when their businesses are disrupted by the elements.
“By sharing our knowledge with RSABI advisors, they have a better understanding of the financial support available to farmers approaching them for help,” says Dickson.
“Similarly, if our staff know more about the support offered by RSABI, they can pass that on to customers. Farmers are sometimes quite proud and won’t come forward to ask for help."