Marketinvoice has launched a new concept in invoice finance but having had a look at their website I’m not too keen on what I saw there.
My regular readers will know that I have a bee in my bonnet about what I consider to be unethical activities on the internet and often wonder whether unethical marketing and promotion is coupled with unethical behaviour in other aspects of a company’s activities.
There are a couple of factoring brokers who have web pages designed to attract searchers looking for specific factoring companies which I consider to be unethical but there again many factoring brokers will do just about anything to earn a buck anyway.
Yesterday whilst searching on Google for “rbs invoice finance” I noticed that the third entry down the page was from MarketInvoice and curious to see why an invoice finance company would have a web page covering one of their competitors I clicked on the link.
It would seem that MarketInvoice have pages and pages in a section of their website laughingly titled “Learning Centre.” Each page is devoted to one of their competitors and is heavily keyword linked and they include a number of real gems, two of which I have cut and pasted below having first removed the extensive keyword linking:-
IGF Invoice Finance
Headquartered in Paddock Wood, Kent, with offices in London and Leeds, IGF Invoice Finance are a company that offers flexible finance solutions for businesses. They are single invoice finance specialists and offer a number of financial products including selective invoice discounting and factoring.
For the benefit of anyone from outside of the industry who might be reading this ABM AMRO were never called Venture Capital and IGF Invoice Finance are not single invoice finance specialists.
In addition to each of the factoring companies having their own page there is another page where summaries of each of the lucky 11 recipient’s pages appear although it does seem that the wording is identical.
This webpage is divided into two section, the first headed “Bank invoice finance and factoring” with the sub heading “Primarily this is because all factoring facilities’ funding comes from the same capital providers, the commercial finance divisions of the major high street banks.”
The listing for High Street banks commences with the aforementioned ABM AMRO but try as hard as I can but I still haven’t managed to find a branch on any high street near me.
The second section covering independent banks and factoring companies has the interesting sub heading:-
“Fundamentally there is some competition on service between the independents; however, once a company is signed up and committed to an 18 month facility, there are significant switching costs, and the factor effectively holds a monopoly over the business (the debenture entered into prevents any other funding without the factory’s prior written consent).”
The two comments that I find interesting are firstly the crafty suggestion that companies commit to an 18 month facility which is most certainly not true with the majority of factoring companies that I deal with and secondly that “the debenture entered into prevents any other funding without the factory’s prior written consent” which apart from the laughable typo is true but makes me very nervous about their whole business model if they feel that they can buy and sell trade debts without the security of a debenture.
As I started off by saying, one can expect unethical behaviour by the type of factoring brokers that don’t have ethics anyway but this is the first instance of unethical marketing by an invoice finance company and the lack of ethics in their internet marketing coupled by the elementary mistakes that they have made lead me to the conclusion that MarketInvoice is one company that I won’t be dealing with.