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Funny foreigners

Export ConferenceIt is about time I had a rant so here goes…

Britain is a country which needs to export both goods and services. We are quite good at it and naturally success is a boost to our balance of payments. I would expect most banks to agree with that.

Or should i?

Last week I met a great new client who supplies engineers to the oil and energy industry. His clients are almost exclusively scandinavian and high profile. the client is seeking invoice financing and I am of course happy to help

Being “timesheet” work the debt is pretty free of disputes and you would also believe that a Norwegian oil company would not perhaps be seen as particularly risky. To put it mildly. Also being scandinavian, his clients invariably pay precisely to terms

All good and you would expect lenders to be scrambling to lend?

Not a bit of it. Export is seen by some so called credit analysts as “too risky”. Even without knowing who and where the debt is accounted to, it is dismissed as being strange and exotic and impossible to deal with

Now I have discussed this before but my bafflement at this short sightedness remains. A number of lenders are turning down a cracking good business here on the most bone headed of grounds. Presumably they still prefer to deal with creaking british retail chains?

If i as a credit manager refused to sanction credit to a massive scandinavian oil company on the basis that its too “exotic” (the exact word used by one lender) then my feet would not touch the ground. And rightly so

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