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Record year for invoice finance

2017 saw the invoice finance and asset-based lending sector provide more finance to UK businesses than ever before.

Data released by UK Finance shows that advances (the amount of funding being provided to clients at the close of the most recent quarter) are up 13% year on year and stand at just over £22 billion for UK businesses. This is the highest advances figure ever.

Total sales (turnover) of clients supported by invoice finance and asset-based lending are up 4% for UK clients, standing at £214 billion for the first three quarters of 2017.

Meanwhile, UK Finance said client numbers are stable at just over 40,000 UK clients.

The exporting picture is particularly strong, with sales from clients through export invoice discounting facilities up 33% year-to-date, and export factoring up 11%.

Matthew Davies, director, invoice finance and asset-based lending at UK Finance, said: “There is increasing understanding amongst businesses of all sizes of how invoice finance and asset-based lending can support them as they grow, and it is particularly encouraging that a substantial proportion of the sustained increases in lending we’ve seen in recent months is helping boost UK exports.

“2016 was itself a record year for the invoice finance and asset-based lending sector, with the industry supporting client turnover of £280 billion for the year. But more funding could and should be provided through invoice finance. To unlock this, the government should bring forward long-awaited legislation to give more smaller firms, in particular, access to much-needed capital.”

So-called ‘ban on assignment’ clauses are sometimes imposed by larger businesses on their smaller suppliers and can restrict the finance options available to those supplier businesses. To address this, the UK government is expected to bring forward revised Business Contract Terms (Assignment of Receivables) Regulations in the new year.


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