The factoring market has long been very competitive but when prospective factoring clients compare quotes from a number of different providers they often just look at the headline rates without bothering to delve any further into the small print.
We came across a company recently who banked with RBS and had naturally approached RBS Invoice Finance for a factoring quote. According to the prospect the quote for factoring the debts of this £300,000 pa turnover company was “a little on the high side” but it wasn’t until they emailed the quote over that I realised quite how high it was as it included a setup charge of £1,500 which is three or four times the size that most of the independents would charge but the real sting in the tail was the 1% renewal fee which I must admit was a new one on me.
Asking around it seems that RBS Invoice Finance wasn’t the only factoring company to charge renewal fees as HBOS also used to do it.
I was discussing a quote for an invoice discounting facility with a provider today and I asked him whether he had quoted a renewal fee and his reply was that his company didn’t charge them whereupon I suggested that he should have put renewal fee – none in his quote as we know that we are tendering against a couple of bank owned factoring companies who may well have renewal fees.
Whilst discussing renewal fees the factor told me that he had seen a quote from RBS Invoice Finance that included a termination fee. This wasn’t a fee in lieu of notice for an early termination but would have been payable on top of the balance of any minimum fees whenever the client decided that he no longer needed his facility.
It’s getting to be a bit of a minefield out there.