An encouraging week from a new business perspective and invoice finance enquiries have been joined by a couple of sizeable commercial property transactions. Whilst our specialist area is very much invoice finance, contacts gained over the last 30 years cover a multitude of sectors and we can quickly and efficiently point other enquirers in an appropriate direction.
Its 20 years this month since I left NatWest and in the time since hundreds of businesses have been helped in their quest to find the right finance. Whilst the majority has been invoice finance a number of asset finance, including property, have been completed too. The range of sectors helped continues to be broad and recent times have seen assistance to construction businesses, an area which historically the invoice financiers shied away from.
Whilst invoice finance delivery methods have changed as has preferred and considered business sectors and the internet has brought its many advantages – and challenges, there remains one constant in the world of SME’s. Late payment by customers for work done. So entrenched is this in business culture that the statistics measuring payment days have barely moved in the last 20 years, ensuring that cashflow remains the biggest challenge to UK SME’s.
Consequently the role we play in pointing businesses in the right direction with regard to finance remains a valid one.
In global business terms the news of the week centres around Volkswagen and the scandal that is engulfing the business and seems likely to cause great damage that will be a long time in the repairing. Lawyers all over the world will be sharpening their pencils and the depths of Volkswagens pockets will be tested.
Big businesses being embroiled in scandal is nothing new from a rogue trader being able to bring down an entire bank (Barings) to a systematic attempt by critical parts of management to defraud (Enron) so it seems as though Volkswagen is destined to join a fairly undesirable list. Consequences to the brand will be significant.
Size is no guarantee of security and certainly no guarantee of integrity and nowhere is this more evident than in the banking sector.
Still, all issues will be forgotten for 80 minutes tomorrow evening.