factoring and the dirty tricks that some factoring companies get up to

There was a small media announcement in the press recently that Aldermore would be making redundancies in their Aldermore Invoice Finance division. This is the sort of occasion where anyone with a shred of decency would feel sympathy for our factoring colleagues who may lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

It seems that not all factoring companies have that shred of decency though as it has come to the attention of The Factoring Blog that one particular factoring company is trying to use this occasion to rubbish their competitor for their own ends.

We have been forwarded an email sent out by an individual at Metro Bank Invoice Finance that stated:-

“It’d be worth cascading this out to the sales teams as if they’re currently in competition for deals with Aldermore, it might help us win the business (that and the fact we’re better). Also if we have any clients working their notice who are looking to move to Aldermore, it might help us retain the client.”

Factoring Blog says thumbs downPersonally I find these tactics quite abhorrent and I’m appalled that any supposedly respectable factoring company would stoop that low. I also find it a great shame that the factoring company in question was Metro Bank SME Finance which was a company that I once held in high regard.

In the old days before Metro Bank got involved the sales team was run by John Wilde who was a man of high principles and I’m sure that he would never have allowed the sales team to use gutter tactics but alas he has gone and the company is now owned and run by bankers and I suppose that we shouldn’t expect old fashioned values from that much devalued of species – bankers.

What is ironic though is that a few unfortunate souls at Aldermore are going to lose their jobs through no fault of their own yet once Metro Bank got their feet under the table at SME Invoice Finance their senior sales team started to leave in droves of their own volition

What’s going on at Aldermore

Keen readers of the factoring blog will have read my “What’s going on at Aldermore” post last week where I was lucky enough to spot a software glitch in LinkedIn and take a screen grab before it disappeared.

It seems that at least one of the three people being “honoured” didn’t see the funny side and complained to Aldermore management and I had a phone call today from the Legal Counsel and Company Secretary of Aldermore Bank PLC who said that if I didn’t remove the blog post they would consult external lawyers with a view to prosecuting me for defamation.

It seems that not only do the staff of Aldermore Invoice Finance have no sense of humour but they also don’t have much of an idea of what constitutes defamation as nothing that I said was defamatory in the slightest. In the interests of harmony I have removed the post but if anyone looking for a factoring company deems a sense of humour to be important I’m sure that you’ll know know where not to look 🙂

What’s going on at Aldermore

It seems that Aldermore have closed their Maidstone office and transferred everything to Twickenham.

Rumours abound that the office is in chaos with staff leaving and payments to clients being missed as everyone is too busy in extended meetings to do them.

Having received two enquiries from Aldermore clients within the space of a week it’s obvious that something is not right there

NACFB dinner and awards 2011

It was only a few months ago that I was at the Metropole Hotel near Birmingham for the Business Money dinner and last night I was back again, this time for the NACFB annual awards dinner.

There were a few similarities between the two dinners as the food was again naff, Bibby again won the factoring company of the year award and my name was again misspelled. However, unlike in June when the “comedian” had us all groaning the NACFB had spent a little more and Simon Evans had most of us in stitches.

I had to wait until this morning to see who else was there that I might have missed as NACFB in their infinite wisdom had printed the list of attendees in black on a dark blue background and judging by the number of people staring intently at the list I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t read it.

The evening was sponsored by Aldermore who had also been nominated for six of the first seven awards categories and it was somewhat embarrassing when they were overlooked for commercial mortgage provider of the year, lessor of the year, factoring company of the year, buy to let mortgage provider of the year and short term funder of the year but at long last their investment was rewarded when they won the specialist lender of the year category.

I’m intrigued to know what that covers though as it obviously doesn’t include commercial or buy to let mortgages, leasing, factoring or short term funding.

The grand prize draw had tickets to the Olympic rowing finals and signed Mancheter United shirts on offer but Aldermore got their own back with the bulk of the “winners” coming away with Aldermore Goody Bags and fixed smiles.

Once again many thanks to mine hosts for an entertaining evening.

Factoring brokers and the internet

More and more supposed factoring brokers are using the internet to attract customers. Unfortunately this means that anyone with some web design skills can throw together a site and try and generate some factoring leads but it can’t be in the customers best interests if the person behind the website doesn’t know the first thing about factoring.

Anyone who keeps an eye on Google will have noticed a new website has recently appeared on page one with what on the surface appears to be a decent website containing a few fairly standard articles about factoring.

The website contains logos from Venture, Bibby, Lloyds TSB, Aldermore, Close and Hitachi which purports to give the impression that the company has a relationship with each of them, but does it?

There is an invitation to submit details on a contact form but nowhere on the site does it have an address or telephone number and having looked up ownership of the domain in Nominet I have never heard of the owner and neither has anyone that I have asked although a quick Google check shows that as well as articles about factoring he has also published articles about getting rid of spots and how to cook a pizza.

Most internet savvy people would never deal with a website that doesn’t have either an address or telephone number but unfortunately many of the potential customers won’t be as wary.

This isn’t the only one as I came up with another last week that have a highly professional and expensive looking website with branches in Glasgow, Birmingham, Newcastle, Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham which makes it look like a pretty sizeable outfit.

It even has testimonials including one saying “We found ****** to be absolutely terrific. They arranged an invoice factoring deal for us quickly and efficiently. Would certainly recommend them” and this was signed by DL, Operations Manager of ABC Ltd

Intrigued to find out more about this high profile outfit I looked up the ownership of the website to see that it registered to the very same ABC Ltd who gave it such a glowing testimonial and a bit more research shows the website owner is a actually a contract cleaning company.

I have often said that factoring companies should be regulated and I also think that it would be in the customers’ best interests if brokers were also regulated as I’m sure that you can’t get best advice from a broker unless he knows the industry, but unfortunately the poor old customer has no idea if his broker knows what he’s talking about or not and it seems that there are a lot around who don’t.

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