Summary of the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) meeting

One of my contacts told me that the highlight of the annual factoring jamboree currently being held in Barcelona was a lecture by a couple of Americans on mezzanine finance in which they appeared to have little grasp of what the subject was that they were lecturing on with each of them often contradicting the other when he had made a mistake in his presentation.

It would seem that the number of representatives from factoring companies was dwarfed by the huge delegation from the world of insolvency as they utilised the opportunity to try and butter up the factors all in one place

Fairfax Gerrard in Administration

Administrators were appointed to Fairfax Gerrard Holdings Ltd, Fairfax Gerrard International Ltd and Fairfax Gerrard Traders Ltd on 19th November.

This will undoubtedly affect all of their clients who may not be able to survive the sudden cessation of their trade finance facilities and may have difficulty in replacing them quickly due to the quirky nature of some of the finance company’s offerings.


Trade Finance UK

The factoring industry is closed this week

Not much will be happening this week at senior levels in the factoring and invoice discounting industry as the ABFA (the industry’s trade association) is having it’s annual jolly conference and all the great and good in the factoring industry will be attending.

Where else would the self styled “UK based trade association” be having their conference in these austere times but Barcelona 🙂


It should be an interesting conference as more than one member of the ABFA isn’t writing any new business at the moment but at least one member might usefully save some money by combining the conference with a trip to Bank Santander to discuss takeover terms in what is probably the worst kept secret in the factoring industry.

Bank owned factoring companies are getting a bad press

In an article in the Sunday Times today it was reported that Payne Timber who had an invoice discounting facility with RBS Invoice Finance had been put into Administration as a result of the Bank reducing it’s invoice discounting facility from £500,000 to £150,000.

On another blog I read this weekend that three different suppliers to the automotive industry had their invoice discounting facilities reduced as the factoring companies had fallen out of love with the car industry.

These factoring companies are going against the spirit of factoring and invoice discounting as the whole idea is that funding increases in line with sales.

Obviously in a falling market when sales are down the levels of funding will also be reduced but to arbitrarily reduce facility limits as per the examples shown is the quickest way to ensure that their clients fall into the clutches of the Insolvency Practioners.

Fortunately there are still factoring and invoice discounting companies out there that don’t treat their clients in such cavalier fashion.


Invoice Discounting UK

Fairfax Gerrard problems

It would seem that Fairfax Gerrard’s financial problems are likely to be terminal as the company have had a Winding Up petition served upon them. This is unfortunate to say the least for their trade finance clients as they will have had the rug pulled out from under them without any notice and many may find it a struggle to survive themselves.

I see from Companies house that Fairfax Gerrard Group Ltd and Fairfax Gerrard Trade Finance Ltd were formed in July this year so it looks like there are plans to set up again.


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