asked Her Majesty's Government:
Why all payments by the Rural Payments Agency after 16 October 2008 will have to go directly into a claimant's bank account; which piece of European legislation requires this; and how many claimants do not presently have a bank account. [HL3408]
EC Regulation No 885/2006 requires all payments funded under European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF), including those under the single payment scheme, to be made directly into bank accounts from 16 October 2008. This method provides faster payment to customers and is not disrupted by postal problems. In addition, it is more secure than payable orders thus helping to prevent fraud and providing better protection for UK and EU taxpayers.
RPA is not aware how many of its claimants do not presently have a bank account but identified 39,126 potentially active claimants for whom it does not currently have bank account details. Those claimants are being asked to provide those details to the agency and I would encourage all farmers to respond as soon as possible.