Leading independent business funder, Bibby Financial Services, recorded its second best month on record in March as it significantly boosted its funding support for SMEs across the UK.
BFS made 158 new agreements in the month, providing funding limits of £49m to new business clients. Funding provided included a combination of invoice discounting and factoring, in addition to specialist products, such as trade finance, export finance, construction and recruitment finance.
Dave Golding, UK sales director, said:
“This is a fantastic achievement and testament to the expertise and client-centric focus of our teams right across the country. Additionally, it demonstrates the strength and breadth of our relationships with local business communities and business advisors.”
“Across the board, we have seen a huge increase in funding agreements for businesses of all sizes in a broad spectrum of industry sectors. This is a great achievement for BFS, but it also provides a significant boost to UK PLC, and regional economies throughout the country.”
BFS has broadened its product portfolio in recent years, with the launch of its foreign exchange business in 2016 and the addition of its stock finance offering. Complementing BFS’s invoice finance and asset finance suite, such options enable the funder to provide bespoke asset-based lending packages to intermediaries and businesses alike.
According to UK Finance, asset-based financing reached £23.4bn at the end of 2017, up 5% on funds advanced at the end of the previous year.
Dave Golding says the results show that more businesses are turning to asset based finance, when requiring more flexibility than traditional bank financing, and closer relationships with funders than transactional fintech lending.
“We are seeing a growing number of businesses seeking more flexible financing options than bank-lending, but with a desire to have closer relationships with funders than transactional fintech provides.
“Despite some residual uncertainty surrounding Brexit, we are seeing SMEs planning and investing for the future, and we have the funding capability, product suite and expertise to support a wide range of businesses to grow and thrive.”
Figures come as confidence among UK SMEs has rebounded to 2015 levels, according to the funder’s latest SME Confidence Tracker. According to the latest data, the number of businesses expecting sales to increase between April and June jumped by 13%, with half (50%) expecting to see an increase, when compared with expectations for the first three months of the year.