Oxbury, the new specialist agricultural bank for the UK announced last month, has secured its licence to operate. The business will now start a pilot phase before its full launch later this year.

The new bank now has approval from the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

With the necessary authorisations in place, the business will now enter an interim mobilisation phase and short pilot period before it becomes fully operational later this year. It will then be able to take deposits and offer bespoke funding products – including the Oxbury Farm Credit alternative to a bank overdraft or trade finance – to farmers through its initial agribusiness partners Frontier Agriculture, Hutchinsons, KW and Mole Valley Farmers.

Oxbury has also launched its third funding round in search of investors looking to back British agriculture.

“We’re delighted to have received our banking licence and to be bringing to market the only UK based bank that has its thinking, expertise and empathy exclusively focussed on the agricultural market and the needs of British farmers,” says Oxbury chief executive James Farrar.

“Our founding team and investors are farmers and market leading agribusiness companies that farmers know and trust, coupled with the expertise needed to run a specialist bank. This trust is essential at a time of great change and opportunity in agriculture that is being embraced by forward thinking farmers to secure the prosperity of British farms in a sustainable manner.”

“Managing director Nick Evans adds: “It is a rare opportunity to back an industry you believe in and we hope that more like-minded investors will join us for our next funding round and become part of our mission to build the UK’s leading agricultural bank.”