Farmers’ satisfaction with their banks continues to slide with more feeling they are under undue pressure. This is the finding of the latest Federated Farmers Banking Survey which reveals the majority of the 1017 respondents to the May survey remain satisfied with their banks, with 56 per cent very satisfied down three points from the previous survey in November. It is also the lowest since the biannual surveys began in May 2015. Federated Farmers president Wayne Langford says interest rate and cost increases are making it tough for many New Zealanders and businesses and the rural sector isn’t immune. Respondents highlighted the size and speed of interest rate increases on top of continued concern about banks’ tough lending policies for rural purposes.

Farmers say other issues include less frequent communication, bank branch closures and consolidation of rural staff into larger centers away from rural areas. They also mentioned high turnover of bank staff and staff having less understanding of farming. Arable farmers were the most satisfied of industry groups, while share milkers were the least with barely half saying they were very satisfied or satisfied.