Austria blocks trade deal

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Not with the Uk but between the EU and the whole of South America. Apparently this has been twenty years in the making and also after this speedy quickfire enterprising negotiations, Ireland and France could also scupper the final deal (if it ever gets to that stage)

This once again illustrates that whatever side of the Brexit fence you sit on, the negotiation of trade deals with 27 differing voices, has not been a strength of the EU.

Australia have recently indicated that a trade deal with the UK could be completed in weeks and take up no more a couple of A4 pages. Maybe a little rhetoric there but clearly one party negotiating with one party is easier than 27 with one.

 

 

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Who needs IT?

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An interesting conversation with an independent lender today. They have a small speciality in the information technology sector and I mentioned how this was an area that generated phobia from many lenders (and by extension their underwriters)

He commented that this especially so with the leading banks and by all accounts at a recent invoice financers conference, the consensus was that this sector was riddled with fraud and best avoided

What absolute rubbish. I can understand sectors being avoided because of the general nature of the contractual terms (building) or because its specific area is in rapid decline but because of a few “frauds” every business should suffer because the banks couldn’t handle their due diligence correctly?

And as if IT is a homogenous industry too. It couldnt be more diverse

One size fits all is lazy thinking but it is amusing to imagine the following conversation

“I have a client requiring a £10m facility”

“Great which sector?!”

“IT”

A harrumph followed by “Thats not for us. Dodgy! Who are they anyway”

“Apple. Goodbye”

 

 

 

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Bury FC. Questions to answer?

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The “owner” of Bury FC was paid £115000 whilst the players and the staff went unpaid before the dreadful demise of the club last week.

He claims these were payments required to be made to “third parties”. Quite why these “third parties” were unable invoice the club directly would appear to require some explanation as well as exactly why a club with no resources at all and unable to pay its staff, needed to incur such unspecified charges. Of course we have no idea of the detail but the spectre of “professional fees” rather than day to day club running costs comes to mind.

I have a feeling that this one is going to run for good while yet

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Are football clubs just businesses?

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The horrific plights of Bury and Bolton have brought this question to the fore once again.  There is probably no need to link the stories or highlight the seedy behaviour of the past and recent owners because anyone with any understanding of the true nature of sport and identity will know that Football clubs are more than just a vehicle for profit or building development

Unfortunately its a sector that has attracted some of the lowest of the low in the business world and this really has to be stopped. Im far from a believer in excessive regulation and interference by busy body “authorities” but football clubs really do mean a huge amount to the small towns and cities they represent and that should be preserved. Civic pride is no bad thing and has an intangible benefit right across communities.

The EFL should be making a much better fist of determining the nature and quality of the ownerships of the clubs and in the case of Bury and Bolton, who could both disappear today, they have questions to answer

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Fake “lenders”

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Anyone searching for asset based lenders online will come across a myriad selection of offerings from a whole range of names you would certainly never have heard of. You probably didnt expect there to be so many “lenders” in the market and in fact you would be right.

Last week a client of mine was approached by a “lender” who were offering headline rates that were simply absurd (echos of Funding Circle). My client passed the information to me and I investigated a little.

This “lender” claimed to offer “introducers commission” and naturally, when I called them, that was one of the first questions I asked. I also questioned whether they were a lender or a broker or a combination of both. They became strangely uneasy with both my queries and promised to “get back to me”.

I failed to see what the problem was. My client is looking for equipment based lending and I am currently working on solutions. More options the better so why wouldnt this “lender” engage?

They never came back but instead pestered my client directly two days later and I was told they became distinctly “arsey” when told they should go through myself. Not a good approach.

This is not unfamiliar. Search engines and cold callings are dominated by brokers who claim to be rather more than they are actually are. They believe that by claiming to actually lend funds they have more credibility and maybe some fall for this but surely a broker who is prepared to misrepresent one aspect of their business then they are more than likely to be untrustworthy with other areas

 

 

 

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Late payments? Is this the solution?

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New suggestions in this article. Many might think that there are valid points made and it is certainly true that more efficient technology can improve processes. The writer even goes on to suggest that AI is a possible solution.

Sadly this is all nonsense. Technology has been steadily improving for some time and has that speeded up the payment process between blue chips and their suppliers? Quite the opposite

The reasons are clear. Its of no consequence which system you gave in place, cash remains king and slow payments to suppliers is the cheapest form of borrowing. That will never change and you will struggle to find a FD who will willingly suppress his/her cashflow by implementing some lovely new invoice/payment process.

 

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Why brokers offer protection. Another rip off lender

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A reputable lender (yes there are some) passed me an interesting but sadly all too familiar tale yesterday.

They were dealing with a potential client that was also talking to a lender that has long had a mixed reputation. My contact asked for information and attempted to engage but the client went silent and subsequently signed up with the competitor.

Two months later the client is back on the phone to my contact complaining that the arrangement he signed for is a disaster and he “wants out”

Clearly hes bought into a facility that was oversold and totally inappropriate but it gets worse

He signed up for a minimum three year contract.

Yes. Three years..

Any decent broker (and yes there are some) would have ensured the facility would be entirely suitable for his/her needs and also would have absolutely advised against a three year contract. Three years minimum is absolutely madness

The client is now in trouble and it wuld be no surprise at all to find that the lender is having gleeful conversations with their appointed insolvency practitioner

 

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