Another quarter has passed and right on cue the ABFA have released the latest statistics supplied by their factoring company members along with their usual misleading press release.
The ABFA claim that “UK and Irish firms are increasingly opting for this type of finance over other forms of lending” yet according to their own statistics 48,172 companies used factoring or invoice discounting at the end of 2008 – a figure which has fallen to 41,486 by 30th June 2011
They further claim that “The latest figures also show invoice finance clients are again choosing not to access all of the funds available to them. Total available funds this quarter were £22.2bn, with £6.5bn of finance available but not drawn.”
Nobody who I have spoken to believes that the majority of clients are “choosing not to access all of the funds available to them” but the truth is more likely to be that the figures are rendered completely meaningless by the 496 companies with annual turnovers in excess of £50m who represent 1.2% of clients by number but one third of factored turnover.
The reality is that as far as the SME sector is concerned the factoring companies are pedaling hard to stand still and have been for a few years since the start of the recession