At the close of Q3, ABFA members had total advances out to clients of some £17.4bn, up 6% on the same period in 2012. This is only the fifth time the funding balance has been above £17bn, and the industry has achieved this milestone in both of the last quarters.
This contrasts markedly with the wider lending picture. Net lending to SMEs contracted by £1.4bn in Q3 2013, continuing its general trend throughout 2013.
The invoice finance industry continues to support smaller businesses, with almost 15,000 being found in the £0 – £500,000 turnover bracket, and over 30,000 in the sub-£5m bracket. However, the data shows that invoice finance is being used by more larger businesses as well; the biggest increase in client numbers was seen in the £100m+ turnover bracket, up 8% on the previous quarter.
These figures are extremely encouraging when the general opinion from businesses is that they find it difficult to borrow money from the mainstream Banks. In my opinion one of the main differences is that there are a far great number of invoice finance companies than Banks. Banks tend to operate in a similar manner whereas the invoice companies offer real competition and a greater appetite to lend.