Close Invoice Finance shows up Bank of Scotland

By the purest of co-incidence we have been approached by a company who had a factoring facility with Close plus a trade finance facility with Fairfax Gerrard. It would seem that the trade finance company have cash flow problems of their own and their inability to continue to provide trade finance has put a lot of financial pressure on the company. Judging by other telephone calls that we have received this company is not the only one suffering due to their relationship with Fairfax.

We put it to the company that whilst we could possibly source a replacement trade finance facility they would also want the factoring too as that would be their security and were told that this had already been discussed with Close who would reluctantly release the company from it’s factoring facility as it would be in the best interests of the company.

It’s good to see that in this day and age there are still companies that will “do the right thing” so plaudits to Close Invoice Finance who have shown up Bank of Scotland for the greedy concern that they are.




Factoring company of the year is…..

Almost all of them.

We were approached by a company last week that was looking for a factoring facility and having read our website they were interested in our recommendations. The MD mentioned that he had already approached Cattles Invoice Finance on the basis that they were award winners to which my response was that almost all factoring companies were award winners somewhere or another.

Looking at the factoring and invoice discounting companies’ website I noticed that Cattles were proudly proclaiming to have won the Business Innovation of the Year award at the National Business Awards’ North West regional finals.

Moving onto Close Invoice Finance and they are claiming the Business Moneyfacts Best Factoring and Invoice Discounting Provider award for the third year running whilst Venture Finance are the winners of the Credit Today Factor Discounter of the Year for the second year running.

Perhaps the most amusing website is that of Bibby Factors where they are proud of the fact that they were voted best factor and discounter by NACFB 2003 2004 2005 2006 thus prompting the question “What happened in 2007 then”

In addition to the above I went to the annual Dealmakers Dinner late last year which included an awards ceremony and GE Commercial Finance managed to win the Dealmakers Asset Based Lending award of the year.

I have no doubt that the clearing bank factors have also won a shelf full of awards between them as I seem to recall that Lloyds TSB was the victor at the Dealmakers Dinner in the previous year.

Oddly enough we introduced the prospective client that started me thinking about awards to one of the few factoring companies that doesn’t seem to have won an award at all even though they consistantly offer an above average service at competitive rates.

Bank of Scotland screws it’s factoring clients

We were recently approached by a company that had been factoring it’s invoices with Bank of Scotland’s factoring division for over two years but now wanted to change.

Having arranged an introduction to a replacement factor the company tried to give notice to be told that they were on a rolling 12 month contract with three month’s notice to be given on the anniversary date of the Agreement and they could either stay for another nine months or else pay a hefty termination fee.

In an age where most factoring companies are reigning in their restrictive practises it is a shame that Bank of Scotland is still trying to screw as much money out of their customers as they can.

Caveat Emptor


Factoring Solutions

Factoring interest rates

With the Bank of England’s announcement that Base Rate will be reduced by one third to 3% many clients of factoring and invoice discounting companies will be looking forward to lower interest charges but for many of them the wait will be in vain.

Many of the factoring companies will express their discount charge as a percentage over Base but most will also include a minimum Base and for quite a few that minimum is 5%

Due to their own internal funding problems quite a few of the major factoring companies (including more than one High Street bank subsidiary) have recently moved to charging their clients as a percentage over Libor so this cut will not do anything for them either.


A big change in the factoring broker marketplace

I was reading an article on the website of Independent Factoring Brokers Association about the different types of companies involved in the introduction of business to factoring companies with two of the growing forces in the broking market being online lead generators and insolvency practitioners.

The market leader in the generation of leads has been Xbridge who have traded under a variety of different names with Decision Finance and Simply Business being two of the most prominent as well as a number of finance portals allied to other well known names being used to generate leads too.

There have always been mixed feelings within the broking community of the value of Xbridge’s operation as with the best will in the world there is more to finding the most appropriate factoring company than filling in a few forms and being sent off in the direction of the cheapest quote.

Many of the factoring companies have also had concerns about the impartiality of Xbridge as they also maintain the website of the various Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance companies and the feeling in the market place is that this relationship has resulted in Lloyds TSB receiving the bulk of the enquiries for factoring and invoice discounting that have come through the various Xbridge sites.

For reasons that we can only guess at Xbridge have now divested themselves of the broking part of their operation which has been taken over by a third party so they will just be a lead generator in future.

The broking side will now be carried out by a third party which would be a good thing if that third party were not a firm of insolvency practitioners.

As a completely independent specialist factoring broker I like to think that we give impartial advice and introduce our clients only to the most appropriate factoring company for their needs whereas the insolvency practitioner led broking outfits are primarily in the business to obtain lucrative insolvency work from the factoring companies and there is always the feeling that the client would be introduced to the factoring company that would more suitable for the broker and not the client.

Time will tell

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