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Archive for January, 2010

Need to arrange equipment finance?

Friday, January 8th, 2010

There are two very  different types of finance companies when it comes to arrange equipment or asset finance. There are balance sheet lenders and there are asset lenders. They approach things in completely different ways.

 Balance sheet lenders are typically your banks and high street finance companies. They are more interested in how long a business has been trading, how strong the balance sheet is, how profitable a business is and without a doubt you must be able to evidence serviceability. They are looking for businesses trading f0r more than 3 years without any blemishes on their trading history. If there are any county court judgements finance will tend to be declined. If your investment is £100k for example they will expect to see a net worth of at least that amount.  If your business is strong enough for balance sheet lending you can expect to obtain very favourable interest rates and excellent terms for hire purchase and finance lease transactions.

The problem is that the high street lenders are being very picky about who they will lend money to. A business which could have obtained funding from a bank 18 months ago may find that they are given the cold shoulder at the moment. It is a combination of banks tightening up their underwriting criteria combined with a lack of cash in the market which has caused basic economics of supply and demand to kick in.

The alternative are the asset lenders. These finance companies are specialist finance companies that will value equipment and lend a percentage of their perceived forced sale value. Therefore a new machine costing £100k may only have a day one forced sale value of £60k which might mean they will only advance £50k against that piece of equipment. The remaining deposit would therefore need to be found by using additional equipment to provide a more secure transaction. XL Business Finance has been providing funding solutions for over 10 years.

how to choose an invoice financing company

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Invoice financing is a form of cash flow finance which can release up to 90 % of your unpaid invoices. It can take form in a variety of different variations. There are basically 3 0r 4 core products and the 50 or so finance companies offering invoice financing provide slight variation on each of the  core products. Invoice financing can take form as factoring , invoice discounting , confidential invoice discounting and confidential factoring. Invoice finance has beenone of the fastest growing areas of finance in recent years and even in the current economic climate and credit crunch there are still many finance companies offering such products. At one time invoice finance was seen as a lend of last resort. This stigma has just about disappeared especially when you consider the risk of using a bank overdraft which have always been repyable on demand. Invoice financing will provide a more secure form of funding that potentially can grow as your business does. XL Business Finance has been helping and advising businesses for nearly ten years and placing them with the most appropraite finance company.

Which finance company is best for you depends upon a number of different factors. Firstly do you require factoring or invoice discounting. The finance companies which are good at factoring are not necessarily the best at invoice discounting and visa versa. Factoring as much as providing cash flow is also about credit control and providing a debt collection service. Certain finance companies are geared up to chase customers debtors better than others. Also your geographic location must be a consideration. There are a number of smaller privately owned factoring companies dotted around the country.  These finance companies can provide a most excellent service however they tend to stick to reasonably locall based companies. There might be one of these companies close to you. It is worth getting us to check it out for you.

Invoice Discounting Charges Explained

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Invoice discounting is the ability to raise up to 85-90% of a businesses unpaid invoices. There are approximately fifty or so providers based in the UK all offering a similar service. As explained in other posts not all finance companies are the same and as such great care should be taken when choosing a finance company. Most invoice discounting facilities can be run on line and at the end of the day the client will send a copy of their sales day book to the discounter. The discounter will then make available 85% of the invoices available for draw down by the client. The client runs the sales ledger and collection and makes telephone calls to chase the debt. The client collects payments from their customer and pays the money into a trust account. The discounter collects the funds from the trust account and pays back the remaining fiftenn percent less the charges for running the facility.

There are two main charges in invoice discounting agreements. The service fee is a percentage of the clients turnover for the privilege of operating the facility. These costs can vary between 0.1% -1% of turnover depending on the circumstances of the facility. The second charge is the cost of borrowing the money which is an interest charge for the priveledge of borrowing the money. Charges are usually 1-2.5% over the cost of borrowing. Some providers will link to bank base rate and others will link to LIBOR, which at times can be completely different. In addition some invoice discounting companies will charge a minimum base rate and as such the headline interest rate must be viewed with an air of caution.

If base rates  are low as they are now and we are expecting rates to go up a lower add on rate with a higher minimum may be better tan a ower min but with a higher add on.

Need Factoring Advice?

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

January is one of the busiest months for businesses thinking of looking at invoice  factoring . After the Christmas break many businesses find them selves strapped for cash and as such enquiries for this form of finance sky rocket. The good news is that you don’t have to go to your clearing bank for these very flexible cash flow facilities. There are many independent based factoring and invoice discounting companies based throughout the UK who in our opinion provide a much more comprehensive funding package. Whether you are looking to raise cash against unpaid invoices or you need help with collecting your debtor book XL Business Finance will be able to help you find the most suitable funding partner.

AT XL Business Finance we deal with the vast majority of the UK based factoring companies. We know which finance company is best for your particular business. There are literally dozens of UK Based factoring companies offering up to 90% funding against your unpaid invoices. The thing is though that not all of them are the same. Like with any financial institution they all have their sweet spot and each and every finance company has their own particular sweet spot! How can you be sure that unless you use an independent  factoring broker that you are finding the company with the sweet spot that matches y9our own particular and unique requirements?

What is the point of factoring your invoices with a company that the Head Office is based in London and you are based in Manchester. If you have any issues surely it is better that you can drive a few miles down the road and have a face to face chat with a decision maker! Additionally you might want to ask if the factoring company  you are dealing with has credit control and collections based in the same office. Not all do!

Obtaining Business Finance in the New Year

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Happy New Year to all our customers and potential new customers. 2010 is undoubtedly going to be an interesting year. On the one hand we started to see a recovery towards the back end of 2009. The number of enquiries we were getting from businesses requiring help with asset finance was definitely on the the up. From our point of view we were definitely starting to see the green shoots of recovery. On the other hand the government must seriously eat into the deficit created by quantitative easing. We are expecting an increase in taxes and massive cut in governmentspending. In our opinion the economy is still balancing on a cliff edge. So what does this mean in terms of obtaining credit.

In our opinion it will still be a very difficult year dealing with the banks and financial institutions. Unless there is a further injection of cash from somewhere it is simple economics of supply and demand. There is a shortage of cash in the market and the banks will continue to cherry pick the best deals. Most of the proposals we are seeing for hire purchase and finance  all have a story to tell. None of them are straight forward and over the last twelve months  most businesses have had a number of issues. Until we are completely out of the recession the banks and high street finance companies will still be very difficult to deal with.

The good news is that are still a number of independent finance companies able to offer finance for most eventualities. It is is just a case of knowing what which finance company will do what. XL Business Finance has over 10 years experience of helping businesses obtaining business finance for a variety of projects. We believe we can add value to the funding requirements of most business so give us a call today to find out hoe we can help you.

Business Financing in 2010

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Without a doubt 2009 was the toughest trading year for any business that most of us can remember ( unless you are selling Pizza or home safes!). No one was expecting the recession however with hindsight it is easy to say ” I told you so”.  Twelve months ago there were a dozen or so high street finance companies and banks offering hire purchase and finance lease facilities. At the moment there are only a handful remaining. Many an  independent finance company and bedroom brokers have gone out of business. The longer established independents have the experience and expertise to add value to any business financing. At XL Business we have been helping our clients for over 10 years with their business finance requirements. We envisage the banks being extremely difficult for at least the next 12 months so it is important that you use an expert to help your business with  your funding requirements.

A fellow broker of mine has a brilliant quote on his website ” You wouldn’t go to your butcher for open heart surgery so why would you go to a bank for financial advise” Dick and Rick if you read this quote I will buy you a pint. At XL Business Finance we couldn’t agree more. We reckon for just about nearly every financial product a bank offers we could find another lesser known financialproduct offering the same product either at a better price or with a much better service. This is particularly true of  factoring and invoice discounting products. There are a few instances that we recommend banks but how do you know which one to approach. There are just so many factors that need to be taken into account. One high street bank is very good at export debt for example but only if you are profitable. One high street bank is pretty good at financing contractual debt but how do you know which it is. Give us a call and we can make the referral for you. Its free!!!!

 

Commercial Mortgage Finance

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Gone are the days when it was easy to get a mortgage just based on the value of the property. Until the credit crunch there were a number of commercial mortage companies offering funding of up to 80% of the valuation of the property. It was dead easy. It was just like getting a self certificated personal mortgage ( and by the way they have all gone from the market as well).

In addition banks were fairly relaxed when it came to advancing money against a commercial property. Has anyone tried to get a commercial mortgage at the moment. It is virtually impossible. At XL Business Finance we have over 10 years experience in helping businesses with obtaining commercial mortgages.

The problem with getting finance at the moment is that the finance companies are not interest in the value of the property. Because truth be known no one really knows how much property is worth in the current economic climate. The financial institutions are all into debt serviceability and the quality of the tenant.

Different finance companies will have different criteria when it comes to debt serviceability and knowing which one is best for your particular requirement is best left to a proper commercial finance broker.  If anyone knows one be sure to let me know ( ha ha!).

Seriously though we have access to some of the best commercial mortgage brokers in the market. The best ones are the ones that generally have worked in the banks for 20 years, have decided that there are other options than working in a Bank for the rest of their lives, have a personality and can generally speak your language. The fact they have worked in a bank is a good thing because they know how to wade through all the dotting of the i’s and crossing of the t’s.

And we know who they are!!!!!!

Happy New Year from XL Business Finance

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Unlikely anyone is reading the blog today especially when most people will be hung over in  some form or another. However we wanted to take the opportunity to wish all our customers all the very  best for 2010. Most of will be delighted that 2009 is behind us which can only be described as the worst year from a business point of view that any us can remember. Anyone who says that they have had a great year is lying. Most businesses have been treading water at best and the ones that have survived 2009 and can survive the continued turmoil in 2010 will undoubtedly be in a very strong position when things eventually start to pick up.

Although there were signs at the back of 2009 that business was starting to pick up 2009 has very much been a year of peaks and troughs and hopefully for your business the peaks have just about been better than the troughs. In our opinion the economy in its very fragile condition will bumble along during 2010 and hopefully we will see a big improvement during the latter part of the year. We expect the banks and high street finance companies to continue to be difficult and as such raising any kind of business finance via the high street will be extremely difficult.

On the up side there are plenty of privately owned finance companies looking for the right kind of deal. Whether it is a finance lease or a hire purchase facility required to help with your capital expenditure requirements or you are looking for a factoring or invoice discounting facility to release cash against your unpaid debtors there will be a finance company somewhere that will be willing and able to help most businesses and scenarios! XL Business Finance wishes every single business all the best in 2010. Lets hope its better than last year!!