[18.12.19] RPA PRESS RELEASE: RPA makes full payment to thousands of rural businesses More than 92% of farmers received their 2019 Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) money in the first two weeks of the payment window. The latest figures from the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) show that 92.4% of payments were made by end of Friday 13 December, worth £1.6bn. This builds on the 59,600 farmers who received payments totalling £1.2bn on 2 December, the first day of the payment window. Additionally, those who claimed in 2019 on their Countryside Stewardship (CS) and Environmental Stewardship (ES) agreements will receive one full payment this year, as part of a wider improvement plan to deliver a better service to farmers and land managers. This means that ES and CS final payments have started to arrive with customers four months earlier than last year, with £77.8m ES and £4.3m CSpayments made so far. Eligible customers should expect to receive their payment within the payment window which runs between December 2019 and June 2020. RPA Chief Executive, Paul Caldwell, said: "We are committed to ensuring timely payments to farmers and land managers, so that rural businesses can plan for the year ahead. "We remain focussed on continuously improving the delivery and performance of BPS, CS and ES schemes, and this year CS and ES customers will receive their one full payment against their annual claim". Payments are made direct to bank accounts via BACS transfer so farmers should make sure the RPA has the most up-to-date account details on the Rural Payments service. Stopping fraudulent activity 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. You can find this on the organisation’s website, correspondence or statement. Contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 without delay for advice and to register your concern. FWAG welcomes the work the RPA has put into delivering payments to farmers in a timely way and we continue to work with the RPA to make further improvements to the delivery of CS, ES and BPS.