The UK’s largest independently owned invoice finance provider, Bibby Financial Services (“BFS”), has committed to increase its total funding for UK SMEs by over £290m, after refinancing with Barclays Bank PLC – Corporate Banking and Investment Banking, Bank Of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC Bank PLC and Lloyds Bank.
David Postings, global chief executive for BFS, says the announcement is part of the funder’s growth strategy that will see it provide support to an increasing number of businesses in the years ahead.
Mr Postings said: “This is a hugely positive announcement for UK PLC and the wider economy. Increasing our funding support for SMEs will create jobs and growth for businesses across the country.”
Prior to today’s announcement, BFS advanced in the region of £480m to UK SMEs. The independent financier has now committed funds of £774m to the sector.
To access greater funding, the business undertook a process of securitisation, which involved having its debtor-book rated. Ratings agencies, DBRS and Moody’s awarded AA and Aa2 ratings, respectively, for BFS’ debtor-book, facilitating the refinancing deal, which is the first of its kind in the UK.
Mr Postings added: “Securitisation is a huge milestone for Bibby Financial Services and one which will see us compete with banks and other independent funders on a much greater scale and level playing field.
“This is just the start of our growth plan as we seek to expand our support to SMEs over the coming years.”
In March, BFS announced plans to grow its UK footfall by opening two new offices in Greater London and relocating its Central London office from Aldersgate to The Baltic Exchange.
The funder opened its North London Business Centre in Brentwood in April and in October the opening of a new office in Redhill, Surrey, was announced.
Mr Postings added: “We have funded businesses for over 30 years so we know the level of support they need in order to grow and thrive. Our personal touch and commitment to delivering excellent service for our customers is what sets us apart from other funders, and this is what has allowed us to grow our market share this year.
“Today’s announcement along with the opening of our new offices in London will position us for further growth over the years ahead.”
Part of the 208-year-old, Bibby Line Group, BFS has 19 local offices throughout the UK, in addition to operations across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.
BFS currently supports 7,000 UK businesses with its funding solutions, handling annual turnover of £5 billion on behalf of its clients.