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Steve Jobs. How true is this?

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Categories: Uncategorized

Brokers and lenders. How is this acceptable?

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Aldermore, the specialist bank, has announced the acquisition of a 48% minority equity stake in AFS Group Holdings Limited (AFS), one of the largest introducers to asset and commercial finance funders in the UK.

I have no problems at all with Aldermore as a lender and have some very good contacts there. They are reputable.

So why are they involved in aquiring stakes in brokers? We have seen these relationships before and they clearly raise questions the most obvious of which is how on earth can a broker be “independent” when its nearly 50% owned by a lender?

The simple fact is that they cannot. And if they are not then they are certainly not acting in the borrowers best interest. That can only work when the broker can demonstrate absolutely no favouritism or direct connection with any particular lender.

The problem with arrangements such as these is that it is simply inviting scrutiny from bodies such as the FSA.

My view on this is that “brokers” should be obliged to clearly state their ownership structure and put an end to this nonsense

 

Categories: Uncategorized

The top “cashless” countries. And where does the UK stand?

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Here is the list

The results may or may not surprise?

Categories: Uncategorized

Amazon and Apple at war with the EU

_98135710_amazon-biulding_alamyThis is about more than just the tax owed by these two giants. The significance here is this…

Amazon has been ordered to repay €250m (£221m; $293m) in back taxes after the European Commission said it had been given an unfair tax deal in Luxembourg.
The Commission also plans to take Ireland to court over its failure to collect €13bn of back taxes from Apple.

A significant and overdue change of direction by the EU and a welcome one too. The very  existence of corporate tax havens within the EU is quite ridiculous, especially when one of those states had to be bailed out of its economic mismanagement.

The UK is of course leaving the EU and can now set whatever tax rate it wishes. However within  the EU there should remain some freedom (although arguably the monetary union cannot fully function unless there is fiscal union) but surely within certain bands. Effectively allowing major corportaions to pay virtually no tax at all was absurd. Luxembourg and Ireland should have adddressed this a long time ago and deserve to be punished

 

Categories: Uncategorized

No cheques here

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Last week I experienced probably the most bizarre query I have received from a lender’s underwriter

The lender is a new player in the market and they could perhaps be excused some greenness. They have a very decent product whch theortically fills a gap between straight loans and invoice financing. They were up against two other lenders offers to win a prospect of mine

The problem they had was when the examined my client’s bank statements. This followed

I put the application into credit committee yesterday. They wanted to understand why XXXXX are being paid using cheques when the organisations that pay them are turning over hundreds of millions a year (xxxx, xxxx, xxxxx, xxxx, etc.). They are slightly uneasy that is just not in line with the rest of the market.

Please can you provide some clarity into the reasoning? Thank you very much.

Words failed me. Its not enough that my client is paid but its how they are paid. Apparently

They wanted some “clarity”.

I gave them a very clear answer

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Collapse of Monarch

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Monarch was the very first airline I flew on and I would suspect that that is true of many from my generation, so its sad news today that the airline has collapsed. I am sure that many would also be sad that it was Monarch and not a certain other airline that is very much in the current news.

Airlines have always been notorious credit risks. For many years airlines in the US seemed to spend half of their time in Chapter 11 and in europe we have seen many collapses including national airlines such as Sabena and Swiss air

The reasons for the high risk are manifold but tight margins and shifting patterns of consumer appetite are key factors. The reality here was that Monarch were very much tied in with a the fading world of the package holiday and were very vulnerable to competitors in a world of cheap flights and consumers organising their own “packages” online.

A key but underrated factor in all credit assessment is the debtors place in its market. This is not illustrated by balance sheets or fashionable algorithums (although a trend cross P and L and balance sheets is a possible indicator) but is about knowing the client and exactly where they stand and what their future is likely to be.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized

More on Noel Edmunds. End of RBS?

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This story digs a little deeper and there are some quotes that cannot be ignored. Firstly this might be a bit hard to swallow but…

Quoting figures he said came from Lawrence Tomlinson, the author on a report on the scandal published in 2013, Edmonds said claims could amount to £100bn, around three times the group’s market capitalisation.

 

This of course was a significant story earlier this year although i believe the sentences were not harsh enough and there should have been action taken to bankrupt and seize every single asset of those involved

Edmonds’s involvement with the campaign group stems from his own experience with HBOS’s Reading branch, whose employees deliberately ran businesses into the ground.

In February this year, two former HBOS bankers were among six people jailed over the scheme.

But as I stated before this is by far the most significant point.

That resulted in a barrage of messages from business owners with similar experiences, Edmonds said, including an email containing the FCA report, which was also leaked to the BBC.

Edmonds said the FCA has written to him, telling him that publishing the report would be a criminal offence. The FCA has so far refused to publish the report, claiming it would not be in the public interest to reveal the full report. It has previously published a summary of the report.

If true, then we have a serious problem with the FCA.

How on earth can this not be in “the public interest”? The one certainty is that this will be leaked sooner rather than later and what appears to be a cover up will be a major story

 

 

Categories: Uncategorized