Demand for Invoice Finance Grows

Well it is according to a press release sent out to all and sundry by Simply Business. Apparently they are seeing “an increase in small businesses seeking alternative sources of credit such as invoice discounting and factoring as banks refuse to give credit.”

I wonder where they are placing this increase in business as all of the factoring companies that I have been talking to say that new business is flat at the moment whilst the broking community are all looking a bit glum too. Even the ABFA try and put a positive spin on figures that show a constant decline in numbers of SME businesses taking advantage of the various forms of invoice finance.

I have always taken the view that if I have nothing to say, I say nothing – perhaps that’s where I’m going wrong 🙂

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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