On the internet nobody knows you are a dog


An old cartoon but every bit as relevant today as before.


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Credit to Aldi


When seeking invoice finance for my clients, the quality and reliability of their debtors is a significant factor. Many will assume that this is simply based upon the debtors balance sheet but that is far from the truth. In fact the contract and the general treatment of suppliers is of greater consideration.

There are a number of high profile chains that invoice financers rightly dislike. In a couple of cases they will not accept them as a client at all. Aldi would certainly not be one of these. Their contracts are refreshingly clear, fair and concise and their payments timely

This story is no surprise. A business that treats its staff well will also believe in the ethos properly partnering suppliers.

All credit to this excellent business.


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P & A. Disappointing news

We need high profile successful cases against the so called professionals who deliberately rip off businesses to succeed.

In my view the following has a whiff about it

A lack of available witnesses and “evidential difficulties” — understood to include botched raids of P&A’s offices — contributed to the decision, the government said. Two of the firm’s former insolvency practitioners admitted wrongdoing in a high court civil case last year related to the alleged professional fees scam.




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Happy new year and my predictions for 2018




My Predictions for 2018 As the year ends I tend to give some thoughts to how the asset finance markets will develop over the coming year. I haven’t looked back at my 2017 predictions but I think i wasn’t too far of the mark.

Lets see if 2018 is as expected

  1. The effect of Brexit will actually be quite boring in so far as it will have far less difference either way than so many seem to assume. SMEs will increasingly cotton onto this and confidence will return. Not that it really went away to any great extent. Labour not come to power but the risk will continue to spook business. The shadow chancellor  is going to try and reassure and I suspect he is a pragmatist but it has bypassed many how very hostile the leader is to any free enterprise.
  2. The large banks have not come under any recent pressure to lend to businesses. This is a consequence of Brexit and energies divested elsewhere. This will continue and there will be a further drift towards the independent market
  3. PTP lending will continue to mature. There will be failures and new entrants. In fact many new entrants in the past year have had excellent imaginative models.
  4. PTP lenders will become more conventional and realise that lending is more about people than algorithms. This has already become an increasing trend
  5. There will be new entrants in the Trade finance sector and there will be a new imaginaitive offering
  6. Supply chain finance will continue to grow at the micro level. There is room for new players in this market Have a great 2018

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A lender to avoid


Just before xmas, I had an extraordinary exchange with a fringe lender in the market who wanted an introduction. To put it bluntly, their business development manager was an idiot

I may disclose some more detail in a later post without wasting any more ink on disclosing who they are, but the hint is there and they are pretty irrelevant in the wider scheme of things

The key to the discussion was that he wanted a “conference call” to introduce himself (involving a business partner of mine) and I politely stated thats not the way I do first meetings

Their offering simply does not stand out in a very crowded market and they are not ABFA registered (not essential but quite desirable). I had also taken a very unhappy client off them some months back. To put it bluntly, they needed to do the work.  I pride myself on knowing the whole marke with 50 plus lenders currently active. Its very crowded

The fact is that these people were supposedly selling themselves to me as lenders who could deal directly with my clients. That of course will never happen now but the key is that I expect to know exactly who I and my client is dealing with.

Many clients will simply not respond well to certain business development managers. Its a big factor and underestimated by many who think this is purely a numbers game (far from it). This is particularly appropriate to invoice financing where the relationship is on going.

Skype will not suffice either. Its uncomfortable and essential body language is missed. I have also noticed that the desire to skype seems to be fading across the business community. Its doesnt work.

This idiot actually became abusive and I have also been compelled to block their access to my linkedin profile. Gladly I will have nothing more to do with them. The fact that they cannot understand their place in the market is alone reason enough.



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Poundland difficulties?


Attradius, who are one of the largest credit insurers, have reduced cover on Poundland, citing “accounting irregularities” at their South African parent company.

Taking a quick look at Poundlands accounts in isolation, there would be very little cause for concern. They are straightfoward and whilst there have been a couple of loss making years, the net worth is decent. If the worst came to worst there is no doubt that a buyer could be found for what is a strong brand, even if it could not exactly be described as premium

So what will be the effect of Attradius’s decision? The possible issue here is that defensive actions can generate more uncertainty. The suppliers are obviously going to be concerned and it would appear already that a number are having to restrict deliveries. More concerning is that if this became contageous amongst other insurers and suppliers, then Poundland could be struggling for stock which could possibly start a dangerous spiral




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Anger between a broker and lender


It would be remiss for me to go into the details of a case on which I have only second hand details but a major semi public row has broken out between a broker and a single invoice discounter over commission. The details can be found on linkedin

The broker is quite high profile and he clearly has no regrets burning his bridges. The lender in question is one who I have used a number of times in the past but will no longer do so. The issue I had differed but was indicative of a serious attitude problem.

In this particular case the broker introduced the client to the lender. Commission was paid but after a period of time the borrower moved the facility to another lender. That didnt work out and they then returned to the original lender.

Nothing unusual except that upon the return (after a just a few weeks) the lender refused to resurrect the commission.

Being fairly substantial this angered the broker.

A grey area maybe but the lender in question will clearly not get any further leads in what is a competitive market and has found themselves to be publicly outed on a linkedin group used by many brokers and many in the industry

You can work out for yourself whether that was a good decision

It will be interesting to see how this develops




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