CYBG, the owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, is strengthening its agriculture expertise through the appointment of a new Head of Sector who joins the bank from the agricultural industry.
Brian Richardson will take on the role of Head of Agriculture in July, leaving his current position as Chief Executive of at H&H Group, in Carlisle.
Born and raised in Yorkshire, Brian has spent his career in the agri-business sector, starting as a management trainee at a feed milling and meat processing company in Harrogate. He went on to hold senior positions, including Managing Direction at JSR Farms Ltd in East Yorkshire, Chief Executive at Woldmarsh Producer Ltd and Managing Director at CWG Ltd before joining H&H Group as Chief Executive in 2008. Brian is also a Nuffield Scholar, with his area of research focusing on farming cooperatives in Europe and New Zealand.
Joining CYBG is a new challenge for Brian and he is looking forward to approaching the sector from a different angle.
He said: “It’s unusual to have someone from industry move into the financial side, but I’m excited to get started. It’s a big commitment from CYBG to invest in this role and shows the long-term view it takes and importance it places on this sector. The Bank already has a highly knowledgeable dedicated team of agricultural bankers and I want to use my skills to support them as they support farmers and the wider rural community.
“It’s an interesting time to be joining a bank – major changes in agriculture and the wider food and drink sector will happen as a result of Brexit and, for the first time in more than 40 years, the UK Government will be setting its own policy for agriculture. CYBG is already in a strong position to support farmers through those changes and making sure they have a positive and prosperous future. I am look forward to building on the Bank’s commitment to the centre and using my knowledge of agri-business to reinforce that strength and commitment in the sector.”
Brian will be attending agriculture shows throughout the UK this summer and will be spending time with the bank’s team and its customers, learning about the business of financing the sector he already knows so well. He said: “It’s very much getting the message out there that I’m here, I’m available - I want people to feel comfortable picking up the phone or dropping me an email. It’s also about making contact with the excellent network that CYBG already has across the country.”
CYBG is committed to working with SMEs and has a strong heritage of supporting British business across a range of industry sectors. It launched its Lending Commitment in 2017, pledging to lend £6bn to SMEs across the three years to the end of 2019 and recently announced it has met its target in year one.
Graeme Sands, Head of Business Banking at CYBG, said: “Brian is a well-respected member of the business community and we are thrilled he will be joining the bank, heading up our UK-wide Agriculture sector team and this appointment is indicative of the way we approach sector based banking.
“The industry is going through a number of changes and we pride ourselves on the high standard of support and guidance we can give our customers to navigate these challenges and take advantage of opportunities. Brian brings additional insight to the role and a differing perspective - his experience and expertise in this industry is going to be invaluable in shaping how we evolve our support for farming and rural customers.”
Brian is married with two children and lives in Carlisle. He will officially join CYBG on 1st July 2018.
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