Having a closer look at the ABFA statistics for the factoring and invoice discounting industry for the first quarter of 2009 I was struck by one seemingly insignificant statistic that the number of clients with annual sales in excess of £100m had dropped from 248 to 213
I wonder what happened to these 35 companies? Some may have shrunk to a stage where their turnover was less than £100m so came into a lower category but that is fairly unlikely. Some more may have ceased using their invoice discounting facilities replacing them with something else but again I think it unlikely which leaves the worrying fact that 35 companies turning over in excess of £100m each have gone bust in the first quarter of this year.
Assuming that each of those companies were turning over the bare minimum of £100m and their debts turned in the ABFA average of 59 days the total outstanding debts of these companies would be in the region of £650m and assuming an average investment of 70% there would be factors funds invested of £455m
Most of us who have been involved in the “collect out” of bust clients will know that there is often a shortfall in collections as the disputes start to crawl out of the woodwork and the clients customers go bust and there is a good likelihood that losses may be incurred in that situation.
I guess that due to the size of the facilities these will all be bank factors involved and I wonder what sort of losses will be involved when collecting out an investment of at least £455m from 35 bust clients. My guess is that some of the bank factoring companies will be sitting on potentially enormous losses at the moment