Funding grows to over £400m
6 per cent jump in SME funding in three months
The UK’s largest non-bank owned invoice finance provider, Bibby Financial Services (BFS), has increased funding provided to small and medium sized businesses to over £400m.
From July to the end of September this year, BFS boosted funding to UK PLC from £392m to £415m, representing a 5.8 per cent increase in just three months.
Bibby Financial Services Chief Executive, David Postings says figures highlight a changing attitude towards non-bank SME lending. He said: “Businesses are starting to become aware of the range of funding options available and many are turning away from traditional sources of finance. Throughout the summer months and into the fourth quarter of the year, funding enquiries have increased significantly, resulting in our best ever month in July, followed by strong performances in August, September and October.”
Funding provided by asset based finance providers jumped to a record £18.9bn in the second quarter of the year, according to trade body the Asset Based Finance Association.
Mr Postings says the increase is down to growing awareness of alternative forms of finance following proposed measures, including the Government’s Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill, announced as part of the Queen’s Speech in June.
He said: “The Government’s efforts to expand business lending beyond the banks – including mandated referrals to other lenders - have been well publicised, and this has built awareness of the services provided by alternative funders. The launch of the Competition and Markets Authority inquiry into SME lending is a sign that expanding the financial options for businesses is high on the agenda, which will help to sign-post alternative finance even more.”
When talking of the types of alternative finance available, Mr Postings says businesses are not only turning to new funders, but that many are taking-on established sources of funding, such as invoice finance.
He said: “There has been a lot said about new market entrants, such as peer-to-peer lenders and crowd-funders. Undoubtedly these lenders have played their part in making finance available, but businesses want tried and tested solutions, such as invoice finance, which is why we have seen a growing demand for our services over recent months.
“We are also seeing an uplift in businesses taking on lease finance to help them buy essential equipment. Gone are the days when bank loans and overdrafts would be the first and only port of call for businesses looking to manage their cashflow more effectively”, Mr Postings concluded.
Formed in 1982, BFS is part of the Liverpool-based Bibby Line Group, a 200 year old business services company. Today, the business finances 7,000 businesses in over 300 industry sectors throughout the UK. In October BFS opened a new branch in Birmingham, which is its 18th regional office in the UK.