More than 65% of farmers have received their 2018 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money in the first day of the payment window (December 3).

At least 90% of payments are on track to be made by the end of December, according to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA).

Payments were made to 55,179 of eligible claimants, worth more than £853.6 million in total. These include a range of 2018 BPS claim types and sizes.

RPA chief executive Paul Caldwell said: “We know how important payments are to farmers and their businesses.

“We’ve worked hard to make significant progress compared with last year’s performance and we remain focused on getting remaining payments into bank accounts as soon as possible.”

BPS payments are made direct to bank accounts through BACS transfer so farmers should make sure the RPA has the most up-to-date account details.

Once a payment has been made a remittance advice is sent in the post, confirming the amount paid. Claim statements will also be sent, explaining how payments have been worked out.

Tackling fraud

Claimants are also urged to remain vigilant against fraud.

They should remember:

  • Your bank, police or the RPA will never ask you to reveal your online password, PIN or bank account details or ask you to make a payment over the telephone.
  • Never disclose personal information to someone you don’t know or open unknown or unexpected computer links or emails.

If in doubt, call the organisation back, ideally on a different telephone, using a number you are familiar with or you know to be official.

Anyone with concerns surrounding fraud should contact Action Fraud on: 0300-123-2040.