Big changes in the world of factoring

Many of us thought that 2021 would see quite a bit of consolidation in the world of factoring but much of what has happened so far and is rumoured to be happening shortly is far more than most had thought with the banks seemingly keen to get rid of their factoring portfolios entirely.

Late 2019 saw my least favourite factoring company (Pulse Factoring) acquired by Petra Group Holdings Limited  which was a company registered in the Cayman Islands so little if anything was known about it.

January saw Petra Group expand it’s UK portfolio of factoring companies by acquiring Calverton Finance which as I have previously mentioned was a company that I liked dealing with due to it’s excellent client relations and ethical management  and this month it was announced that Cubitt Trade Holdings LLC which seems to be another company whose ownership is obscured but is also part of the Petra Group has acquired a majority stake in another factoring company that I won’t deal with, namely, Regency Factors

In terms of the overall factoring market that is relatively small beer but the more worrying announcements and rumours concern the sale by Barclays of it’s factoring portfolio to the little known 4Syte Group coupled with the rumour that RBIF is divesting itself of it’s factoring clients with it rumoured to be giving them all six months notice to find them another home.

If that wasn’t enough rumours have now surfaced that the biggest factoring company Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance has also had enough and is looking to sell itself or at least it’s factoring portfolio. It will be interesting to see where that one ends up as I can only think of one factoring company big enough to swallow it up without causing indigestion.

There is more but unfortunately for every story that I am told about there are at least six more that I am asked not to put on my blog which is a shame but perhaps in time I can reveal more

The Calverton Pulse tie up

I am in a bit of a quandary due to a recent takeover in the factoring industry. I am happy to admit that Calverton Finance was one of my favourite factoring companies for certain types of client as their service levels were second to none and I had a lot of faith in the senior management team for the way that they went about running a factoring company. With very few exceptions clients that they took on tended to stay with them.

The Managing Director retired a year ago and the Sales Director left shortly thereafter which was a shame as they were both ethical, capable people that I had a lot of time for.

Rumours had been circling around the industry for a while that they were for sale but it was a bit of a shock to me to hear that the company that ended up buying them was the parent company of Pulse Factoring Solutions Ltd which is a factoring company that I have always adamantly refused to deal with

Pulse started life run by two ex directors of the late unlamented Aston Rothbury Factors which went bust in 2013 and for many years it had the reputation of being the lender of last resort with many of their factoring clients not lasting very long.

“Pulse” wasn’t an easy company to follow the fortunes of as there seemed to be quite a few companies bearing the Pulse name some of which didn’t last long before being dissolved and most changing their names at least once.

Most of the independent factoring companies are funded by back to back arrangements with banks but Pulse’s financing didn’t seem to be quite so easy to follow until three years ago when it’s financing was taken over by a company in the group that later acquired them.

Pulse Factoring Solutions Ltd is now part of the Cubitt Trade Holdings LLC group which itself is directly wholly-owned by PETRA Group Holdings Limited, a Cayman Islands limited liability company. PETRA Group Holdings Limited is wholly-owned by BlueCompass Management Partners LP, a Cayman Islands limited partnership.

Now you can see my quandary. One of my favourite factoring companies that looks after a number of my clients now tied up with a factoring company that has always been at the top of my dislike list.

Hopefully Calverton will be left to continue under it’s existing management and more importantly with it’s existing business philosophy but I will be keeping a very close eye on my clients there. One of the reasons that factoring companies like dealing with me is that unlike many of my broker competitors I don’t churn my clients on an annual basis in search of greater commissions for myself but if I find that the service levels are decreasing I will have no hesitation in moving my clients onwards and upwards.