Some factoring brokers aren’t very bright

On 11th February 2014 I posted an article about David Pollard whom I had spotted trading as a factoring broker – Milestone Funding out of Chesterfield and whose previous companies had been wound up in the public interest by the High Court for poor business practices following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

A couple of weeks later the blog was visited by someone using the IP address 86.160.209.75 which resolved to an IP address in Chesterfield and this person visited the blog on a further 12 occasions seemingly only interested in the post about David Pollard and Milestone Funding and ignoring anything else on the blog

Shortly after that I started to get inundated with telephone calls from a variety of companies claiming that I had been on their website enquiring about telephone systems / PPI claims / water coolers and dozens of other things. Fortunately or unfortunately the bulk of the calls came in whilst I was in Spain on vacation and it was left to my colleague to fend off these callers.

Most of us grew out of childish tricks like that with puberty but obviously some people are just plain immature. They also don’t know much about the internet either otherwise they would know that every time you make an enquiry on a website it logs your IP address.

I’m sure that most people who have read down this far will have an inkling of what that IP address might be. Yes, it’s the very same 86.160.209.75 from Chesterfield that was so interested in my blog posts about Mr Pollard and his Chesterfield based company Milestone Funding.

Co-incidence? I’ll leave you to decide

 

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Everything you needed to know about factoring but were afraid to ask

I came across the following on a financial services blog:-

The Payments Are Generally The Identical So It Truly Is Referred To As Fixed Repayment.

The bottom line is that business loans are not hard to get  they were just really easy to you like and so, you should don’t hesitate in availing this kind of special loan deal. Mid size companies with 20% or more profit margins or large companies is feasible in your area, and must answer the questions a loan company would ask… There is no benefit for financial services authority sbf to become involved in the collection of the invoices you like and so, you should don’t hesitate in availing this kind of special loan deal. The bottom line is that business loans are not hard to get  they were just really easy to is formatted into secured and unsecured forms. To renovate is feasible in your area, and must answer the questions a loan company would ask…

An individual can make arrangements or special your office.. Speak to a business financing expert to determine what benefits of factoring work for you, how the financing get a few years ago and have now resorted back to where they should be on the difficulty scale. If the factoring company can’t help them – they great business partners and help finance your business growth!! ) and offer facilities anywhere from businesses that have a reliable, consistent customer base. An individual can make arrangements or special and get paid.

Instead, factoring companies will primarily consider exactly how borrowers conceive things to be.. In essence, applications for business loans to start up companies are challenging for people today to have the things they need, significantly much less what they want. Speak to a business financing expert to determine what benefits of factoring work for you, how the financing exactly how borrowers conceive things to be.. You on the other hand can use that additional your office.. It is clear that unsecured business loans are costlier a wide variety of business purposes.

If anyone wishes to read further words of wisdom on a wider range of financial issues the website is http://madurorecords.com/

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Milestone Funding

I spotted this company promoting themselves as the UK’s leading factoring broker in Google Adwords and as I had never heard of them before decided to have a closer look.

A rather nice website claimed the following:-

Established in 2008, Milestone funding has assisted more than 2,000 UK businesses of all sizes to gain control of their cash flow challenges by introducing the most suitable funding solutions on the market, releasing the working capital that is fundamental to their growth.

The company has already helped thousands of businesses throughout the UK, from start-up companies to International enterprises. Milestone brokers deals from £50,000 to £10m turnover on a regular basis

At the foot of every page of the website are the logos of Aldermore, Close Invoice Finance, Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance, Bibby Finance, Ashley Commercial Services, Hitachi Invoice Finance and SME Invoice Finance and whilst no representations are made there it is implied that Milestone are dealing with them.

I was surprised that I had never heard of a broker who was claiming to have done 2,000 deals in the last six years so I I checked out the website with Nominet, the domain name registrars, to find that it was only registered in January 2014 and the owner was David Pollard of Future House, Chesterfield S40 1SZ

Still none the wiser I Googled the address to find an interesting article about Mr Pollard stating that his previous two companies had been wound up in the public interest by the High Court for poor business practices following an investigation by the Insolvency Service.

The two companies were TAG (Chesterfield) Limited (TAG) and The Recovery Partnership Limited both traded under the name ‘The Insolvency Group and ‘The Accounting Group’ and full details can be found in this article headed Insolvency Service gets two murky Derbyshire accounting firms shut down

http://insolvency.presscentre.com/Press-Releases/Insolvency-Service-gets-two-murky-Derbyshire-accounting-firms-shut-down-68d0c.aspx

I have spoken to three of the factoring companies who’s logos appeared on the website and none of them had heard of Milestone Funding so all I can say at this juncture is caveat emptor

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Factoring brokers – the right or wrong way?

I had a call today from someone who owned a recruitment company who was looking at factoring and who admitted straight away that they had already been in touch with a high profile broker but was unsure whether they were independent or not.

It seems that the broker had effected introductions to three factoring companies which is a practice that I heartily disagree with but I can see the advantages to the broker as whichever company the prospect eventually picks the broker will get paid anyway so they always win.

The problem is that I struggle to see any advantages for the prospect though. With the best will in the world all of the factoring companies offer a similar product and they will all claim to offer a first class personal service but the poor prospect will be completely unaware that the service levels actually vary quite considerably between the best factoring company and the worst.

The prospect will end up meeting representatives from three factoring companies who will all tell them exactly the same thing and assuming that they all quote fairly similar rates the company will probably end up going with the factoring company who’s salesman they get on best with. That is probably the worst way to go about things bearing in mind that one of the market leaders has a reputation for it’s salesmen making promises that it’s operational staff won’t keep and consequently renege on.

Leaving aside the question of whether certain brokers have vested interests in whom they introduce prospective customers to which is another question entirely, one has to wonder whether introducing prospects to three factoring companies adds any value to the proceedings at all as the poor old prospect may as well pick three factoring companies out of the telephone book at random and contact them directly.

I have done what I always do and that is to discuss the company and it’s requirements in detail and introduce them to the single factoring company that I felt suited their needs most of all.

Let’s see who wins out – the money making sausage machine or the old fashioned broker icon smile Factoring brokers – the right or wrong way?

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Factoring Solutions new year resolutions

I have made some New Year resolutions on behalf of Factoring Solutions in order to reposition ourselves from being known as the ethical factoring broker to the rich factoring broker.

Instead of introducing a prospect to the factoring company that we feel is most suited to their needs we are going to take a leaf out of the big boys books and introduce them to three or more factoring companies on the basis that whichever one they pick we will still end up winners.

Before putting in our recommended factoring companies we will contact them first to make sure that they haven’t got the lead from someone else as if they have we will put in someone else instead. It isn’t in the prospect’s best interests but hey we stand a better chance of getting a fee out of it and that’s what’s most important.

At the end of the year we will persuade the client that it’s in his interests to change factors. It isn’t really but we will earn another fat finders fee by churning the deal

One of the most lucrative areas of broking is handling manageaways from factoring companies that want to get rid of a client that they no longer want. In future we will only introduce leads to factoring companies that reciprocate by giving us managaways.

Finally we are going to tie up with an Insolvency Practitioner and insist that if the factoring company wishes to appoint Administrators to any client that we introduce then they have to use our nominated Insolvency Practitioner so that we can earn from that too.

A few years ago the Chief Executive of a factoring company once described me as one of the last gentlemen factoring brokers and that reputation means more to me than the extra income that I could undoubtedly earn if I actually went through with my New Year’s Resolutions so as with my resolutions every other year these are resolutions that will NOT be carried out.

Happy New Year to all my clients and funding partners and rest assured that Factoring Solutions will continue to act only in your best interests and not those of ourselves so we will continue to introduce companies to the single most suitable factoring company.

In fourteen years we have never churned a deal and will not be starting now and if our favoured invoice finance companies don’t use us to handle their manageaways we will still use them anyway and if (God forbid) one of our clients needs to go into Administration the factor can appoint whichever firm of Insolvency Practitioners they are most comfortable with

Ian

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Factoring for small companies part 2

Having sung the praises of a factoring company last week for the speed of their response it would seem that this deal is no longer going to happen.

The factor suggested taking the documents down for signature but the prospect adamantly refused to meet them saying that if the whole deal couldn’t be done by email he would prefer not to bother.

Strange fellow and I wonder what it was he was afraid of but it leaves me thinking that perhaps the factoring company involved have just dodged a bullet

 

 

 

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Factoring for small companies

It seems that certain factoring companies are speeding up the process of reviewing and taking on new clients if they are small and a couple of enquiries taken by Factoring Solutions this week have gone from start to finish very quickly.

On Tuesday we received an enquiry from a small company with only one customer that seemed to be tailor made for spot factoring so we introduced them to the appropriate single invoice factoring company and we were subsequently informed that the documents are being signed on Friday.

We received another enquiry today (Thursday) from a small company which was fairly new and where the directors were not home owners which restricted the number of factoring companies that would be interested but fortunately the company that we introduced it to were happy to look closer at the prospect and an offer was issued straight away with documents due to be signed on Monday.

It’s not all plain sailing though as we also had an enquiry from a much larger company this week and the company that I chose to speak to about them shuddered when I mentioned their name and politely declined on the basis that they had had dealings with him before and he had been a naughty boy.

Still two out of three isn’t bad icon biggrin Factoring for small companies

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Factoring enquiry of the week

I had a telephone call last week from a very nice sounding lady who wasn’t at all happy with the conduct of her factoring facility and was desperate to make alternative arrangements.

She told me that the company had an exposure into one customer with perhaps £250,000 of the £800,000 annual turnover going to that one company who weren’t the quickest of payers.

The existing factoring company were originally happy to fund that customer up to 85% but had recently reduced it to 50% and now wanted to eliminate the funding to that customer entirely. I wasn’t quite sure why as I checked it out during the telephone call and it seemed to be a substantial company and a good credit risk. I asked what reason the factoring company had given for not wanting to fund this company and she said “none”

She told me that the company were fabricators and when asked, said that all invoices were raised at the end of the job with no stage payments or applications.

I recommended a factoring company who were well known for the quality of their service based on what I had been told.

Having spoken to the factors and asked them to make contact I did a company search on the prospect and was surprised to find that the company name that she had given me had gone bust three months ago but assumed that the factor would get to the bottom of it.

I was rather surprised when the factoring company telephoned me the following day to tell me that he had a long chat to the husband who informed him that the business was all subject to JCT contracts which was why the existing factor had reduced the initial payment to 50% which was a level that they would continue to fund at and that the limited company name that I had been given had gone bust due to contractual problems on a substantial job where the customer had refused to pay.

It seems that the only facts that the nice sounding lady had got correct were her own name and their telephone number and when I spoke to her on the following day I suggested that in the circumstances I recommended that they stay with their existing factors and try and make it work as I probably wouldn’t be able to source anything significantly better.

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September seems to be the month for client problems

I had a telephone call from a factoring company on 11th September and they weren’t ringing to wish me a happy birthday but to tell me that one of the clients that I had placed with them had been a naughty boy and that a meeting had been arranged to discuss whether or not the company was insolvent and what action would be taken.

This was the second factoring company that I had placed this company with as the first wanted it managed it away as he had breached the agreement several times with them too so I placed it with the current funder having first read the riot act so that he was well aware what would happen if he misbehaved again.

On Thursday I had a phone call from a different factoring company telling me that the one client that I had with them had given notice as they were transferring to one of the smaller factoring companies that I wouldn’t give houseroom too due to their reputation for signing up clients first then doing due diligence afterwards.

It seems that this company had also been skating on thin ice with several substantial invoices being re-aged plus other little tricks of the trade. The client had requested an increase in their facility limit which the factor rejected as turnover hadn’t grown.

As if September wasn’t bad enough I had a call on Friday from a third factoring company to tell me that my largest client was about to cease trading as they had fallen out with their major supplier. The owner also decided that he had enough of the business and didn’t intend to restart.

I’ve had enough of September already and can’t wait for October even though a rather nice £30m turnover invoice discounting enquiry has helped take the sting out of the month

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Factoring frauds

Rumours are reaching our ears that one of the big bank owned factoring companies has just taken a £7m hit due to client fraud. This seems to be one of the old fashioned long firm frauds where the company was set up purely and simply to defraud the factoring company.

Also one of the higher profile recruitment back office funding companies has also suffered a £500,000 fraud hit with the apparent fast growth of the recruiter being based on fresh air. Rumours have it that this company is now closed for new business and all of the salesmen have been sacked although I would have thought it was the operational staff that were negligent in this case.

It seems to be the fashion in the media at the moment to knock factoring companies but client fraud has always been factoring’s major problem. Shame it doesn’t make such exciting reading so it rarely gets mentioned.

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