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Bank restricting my invoice discounting facility

Ok, I know I keep harping on about the banks and potentially having too many eggs in one basket however we have recently come across a situation which shows the banks for what they truly are.

Approx 12 months we were approached by a engineering company with a turnover of approx £12m to help source a competitive invoice discounting facility. They were banking with a well known high street bank that shall also remain nameless. A commercial mortgage was in place with the same bank for approx £500k against a fairly recent valuation of £1.1m so plenty of security here thank you very much. We recommended a totally independent invoice discounting company so the bank wouldn’t have too much control. The cost via the independent would be appox £30k of service fee for running the facility compared with what the bank who were offering the facility at a loss leading £12k per annum. From a cost point of view a no brainer however if trading conditions were to take a turn for the worse this could leave the customer exposed to the mercy of the bank.

Now then 12 months down the line and because one of the group businesses have struggled the customer has been placed with the banks specialist care unit and as such is facing massively increased costs.

The service fee has been increased by 1%,  the interest rate has been increased by 0.75% and a monthly management fee of £1200 per month for monitoring the business has been applied. In addition a one of fee of £10k is being charged to verify the management information and cash flow projections. All this adds up to a whopping additional £50k per annum. Ouch!

Although this business has a £100k overdraft facility they are currently running stock at £2.5m. Within in two weeks we expect to have the customer uplifted from the bank with a new invoice finance company complete with a revolving stocking finance loan providing the business with an additional £200k working capital even after paying off the bank overdraft!

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