Archive for May, 2016

Major bank considered dumping invoice financing for…

I cannot entirely confirm this story because it has come third hand from an ex senior employee of one of the big four banks. What I do know is that it came through a very good source

This particular bank gave serious consideration to abandoning its invoice financing offering. That would have had quite an impact on the market of course but would also be seen as a very surprising move.

What was perhaps more significant were the arguments put forward for this move. Apparently it was seriously suggested that “two traders would make more than the whole invoice finance team combined”

True or not? In a way that doesn’t matter but if this story stands up then there are two aspects to it which reflect pretty badly in the parties involved

Firstly whoever made that suggestion doesn’t understand trading. Trading makes no money whatsoever. None. Zero. For every trade that wins another party loses at another bank so the logic is that if you hire a median ability trader then they will not make losses or profits.

It could of course be argued that in certain trades there may be external fees involved charged but on the other side of the equation is the salaries

Either way that is not perhaps the important point here. The real question is what is this bank for? Are they at all interested in supporting and encouraging the economy the basis of which resides with smes?

Or are they simply a trading machine ?

This is a fundamental question in the current climate. The invoice financing facility is probably the most significant financial generator of growth for a small to medium business. It is frequently fundamental to its success.

There are of course numerous options for borrowers and that’s the role I play. In fact for a broker such as myself, such a move would be welcome in the market but that is not the point.

For a major bank to even consider dumping such a fundamental lending product speaks volumes.

And I dislike what I am hearing



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Apple service. What does this indicate?

Few tales are more boring than those of poor client service so I will keep this brief. Aside from the frustration I am also very interested in what this says about Apple inc and where they stand in the market

A few years back I converted to Apple products and never looked back. The quality was streets ahead and the service excellent. It was worth the premium.

Recently I purchased a MacBook Air. Lovely product but after two months the keyboard started to act strangely. On cue I took it to an Apple Store. Admittedly I did not have an appointment but should you need one for a new product which has near enough immediately failed? ¬†On the day there were “no more appointments” . Not good but I said can I book? No because all future days were booked out too. Could I come back each day to see if there were any available slots?

I hit the roof. You do not have to have an “appointment” to return goods that simply don’t work.

They did give me a slot and the machine was looked at for “liquid damage” . Fair enough because that would be a possible cause although I knew it wasn’t. Booked into a repair and here I am waiting. They said up to two weeks and two weeks later I’m waiting

This is seriously poor service. This is a business which to my mind has become complacent and lacks hunger. I was far from the only unhappy client and you can sense a slippery slope

Once upon a time they had adequate staff and quickly replaced faulty units in the spot. That was when they had hunger.

Now they dont. Draw your own conclusions but this is a classic negative business model.

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The end of the personal guarantee?

Readers of my blog will be well aware of my aversion to personal guarantees. This is an area of lending where there is a gap the size of the Grand Canyon between lenders and businesses with too many banks seemingly baffled by resistance to the demand. I have quietly turned the tables on one rather bullish lender and suggested that maybe he would like to sign a personal guarantee against his target next year?

Worse still is the comment that a “pg shows the directors commitment to the business” . Whilst this might be appropriate with some less than straightforward enterprises, an account manager may well be taking his life in his hands by suggesting that to someone who has committed everything to his enterprise.

The other excuse given is that it is a protection against fraud. Rubbish. That’s covered by a warranty

However the tide is turning. Many peer to peer lenders have no interest in asking for a pg and now one significant and well respected conventional lender has dropped this demand. This will put them in a very good place in the market.

That will of course depend on the broker doing his job properly and seeking the very best for his/her client on all levels.

That is of course always my commitment and promise

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A disgruntled worker takes his revenge

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Nigel Lawson on Brexit

The EU debate is difficult and the closer you look the harder it becomes to come down hard on either side. Both Osbournes and Camerons statements on security and housing prices have a strong whiff of desperation about them whilst the leave campaign can too often appear to be appealing to narrow rather than wider instincts. What is required is a clear voice and whether you will agree or not, Nigel Lawson most certainly delivers

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