SME funder, Bibby Financial Services (BFS), has announced that it is to launch a new foreign exchange division in 2016 having gained regulatory approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Set to launch in the first quarter of the year, Bibby Foreign Exchange will combine BFS’ trade and export finance capability with payment services, enabling businesses to transact in their currency of choice.
Based from new offices in Brentwood, Michael McGowan will oversee the launch of the venture as Managing Director. Michael – a chartered banker – has worked in the foreign exchange industry for over 12 years and previously held the role of UK Regional Director for FIRMA Foreign Exchange.
David Postings, Global Chief Executive of BFS said: "With mounting pressure on businesses in managing foreign exchange risk and an increasing demand for international payment support, foreign exchange presents us with new opportunities to support our customers’ growth in domestic and overseas markets.
BFS currently supports over 9,500 business customers worldwide through operations in more than 40 locations across 15 countries."
Michael McGowan commented: “Managing risks associated with exchange rates can prove extremely complex, adding further challenges to international trade, which is already a competitive environment for small and medium-sized companies.
“With extensive knowledge of overseas markets through our existing export and trade finance capability, coupled with our international presence, we see a real opportunity to help businesses trading in markets across the world. The ability to combine funding with foreign exchange services in this way is something other non-bank funders are simply unable to do.”
In November, the funder announced that it is to commit upwards of £770m in funding to UK SMEs, following a successful refinancing deal.
David Postings added: “Our business is based on building strong relationships with our customers in order to understand and support their growth aspirations, whether in the UK or overseas.
“With the Government’s ambition to achieve a national target of £1 trillion in export sales just four years away, UK SMEs need further support in this area, which is exactly what our foreign exchange business will deliver.