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FOLK2FOLK appoints Ian Bell as Head of Farm & Rural Engagement


FOLK2FOLK, the national, award-winning lending platform for local and rural business announces the appointment of Ian Bell as its Head of Farm & Rural Engagement in a newly created role.

He joins FOLK2FOLK at a pivotal time for the farming industry and rural business, with both seeking to successfully navigate the uncertain terrain of pre-and-post Brexit Britain, whilst facing the real difficulties and complexities of accessing the necessary finance for growth, development and diversification from traditional sources. His role will be to raise FOLK2FOLK’s profile across rural Britain, improving awareness of its offering to its target audience, as well as assisting the company in deepening its understanding of the many challenges its borrowing customers face. He will be responsible for bringing FOLK2FOLK closer to the farming community, improving landowner engagement and will be FOLK2FOLK’s representative with industry bodies, local and central government and other external organisations.

Ian Bell has been a prominent figure in the UK agricultural arena for many years, having created the rural charity, The Addington Fund in 2001, and successfully acting as its CEO before standing down in January 2018. FOLK2FOLK is also, therefore, delighted to announce that, during 2018, he will also lead FOLK2FOLK’s corporate, social, and responsibility programme, with the launch of a new charitable foundation. This foundation will seek to alleviate the symptoms and problem of social deprivation in rural areas, whilst also providing opportunities for newcomers to enter the farming industry, coupled with a safety net for those who may have fallen on harder times. Further details will be announced in due course.

Giles Cross (CEO FOLK2FOLK): “We’re delighted that Ian has joined the team. Building a strong and vibrant rural economy is vital to our long-term wellbeing and Ian’s knowledge, guidance and experience can only strengthen FOLK2FOLK’s reputation as a trusted enabler for UK farmers and rural business, supporting their plans for growth, development and diversification and helping them achieve sustainable profitability. His participation in and commitment to The Local Lending Movement will, I have no doubt, help us accelerate awareness of our organisation, of what we offer and what we’re trying to achieve.

Ian Bell (Head of Farming & Rural Engagement FOLK2FOLK): ‘’I feel very privileged and excited to be joining the FOLK2FOLK team. The opportunity to create a new charitable foundation, allowing me to continue my charitable work within the farming and rural community whilst, at the same time increasing awareness of FOLK2FOLK across the UK rural sector presents a perfect balance for me. I will be perfectly placed to help further meet the needs of our customers, those who knit, financially and socially, the fabric of our rural communities together and to satisfy my life’s passion, to support individuals and families across those communities facing continual challenges which are often outside of their control.”

FOLK2FOLK positions itself as the “go-to” provider for rural, local and farming businesses seeking secured finance for growth, development and diversification. Formed in 2013, the company exists to help create and sustain financially and socially successful local communities, empowering local businesses by matching them directly with Lenders seeking an inflation beating interest rate through its award-winning Peer-to-Peer lendin­­­­g platform.

FOLK2FOLK is a financial services provider committed to the values of decency, transparency and fair exchange, working to create positive, well priced customer outcomes in timely fashion, offering access to business finance using modern methodology whilst delivering good, old fashioned customer service.



Formed in 2013, FOLK2FOLK exists to help create and sustain financially and socially successful local communities, empowering local businesses requiring debt finance by matching them directly with investors through its Peer-to-Peer lending platform. FOLK2FOLK enables lenders to participate in supporting local UK businesses to grow and thrive driving ­­positive impacts in local communities, creating job opportunities and contributing to the UK economy.

FOLK2FOLK Lenders have funded loans in excess of £190m to UK business since 2013. FOLK2FOLK Lenders receive 6.5% interest p.a. on their FOLK2FOLK loans.

FOLK2FOLK uses technology not as an opportunity to dilute or remove human relationships, but to enhance them and bring them together. It remains one of the only companies of its kind to maintain and favour the existence of a local branch network. FOLK2FOLK should therefore not be described as a B2B or B2C business, but as H2H (Human2Human). FOLK2FOLK is FinTech with a face!

FOLK2FOLK now has a local presence in Cheshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Devon, Dorset, East Anglia, Somerset, Thames Valley, Three Counties, Worcestershire & Yorkshire. Further growth is planned in 2018 and information will be made available in due course.

FOLK2FOLK is an award-winning Peer-to-Peer lending platform, having been awarded “Altfi Best Lending Platform for Small Business 2015” and “AltFi Up and Coming Business Platform of the Year 2016”. In November 2017, FOLK2FOLK was awarded “Small Business of the Year 2017” at the Western Morning News business awards.

FOLK2FOLK became authorised and regulated by the FCA in 2016 and became a member of the P2PFA in 2017.

Minimum investment in a FOLK2FOLK loan is £20,000. There is no maximum limit for investment. All loans secured against UK property or land. Peer-to-Peer lending is not a bank/deposit savings product and investors’ capital is at risk. Peer-to-Peer lending is not covered by the FSCS.

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