Raising finance to grow your business is not about today, it is about tomorrow. The right finance package can be a positive force within your business, one which can be used to propel your business forward.
Building a bigger, better future… that’s what we do
When you’re looking for finance to grow, a lender will want to see a well constructed Business Plan. A great Plan sets out a clear vision for the future, a future in which you soar above your competition.
The whole process of raising finance can be a distraction and divert your attention away from what’s important. With mounting priorities it’s a case of which one has to wait. Typically raising finance is one task that can grind you down.
Companies entering an insolvency arrangement is starting to increase. Opening this Business Finance Bulletin, we review the latest insolvency figures and the government’s extension to the Statutory Demand and Winding Up Petition moratorium. Will this continue to keep insolvencies low?
As part of the government’s strategy of ‘levelling up’, we have news of the launch of The UK Infrastructure Bank. Whilst it won’t directly lend to small business, will there eventually be a positive knock-on effect?
To close, a review of the latest annual Small Business Equity Tracker report reveals that 2020 saw the largest amount of equity investment made in small and medium-sized businesses.
With the economy starting to get back on track, we open this Business Finance Bulletin with news from the Finance and Leasing Association of large increase in leasing and HP deals written in April. Although still well off the 2020 figures, encouragingly the gap is beginning to close as business investment activity increases.
Business confidence also continues to grow with a survey from the British Chambers of Commerce and Funding Circle revealing business activity levels and sentiments for the future. The survey findings highlight how resilient businesses have been.
To close, analysis from online accountants Mazuma uncovers how many businesses are concerned about their ability to pay back their Bounce Back Loan. What are your options if your cashflow is still tight?
When the Recovery Loan Scheme was launched in April, the number of accredited lenders on the panel was limited. With the panel lenders now expanding, in our latest Business Finance Bulletin we review the new lenders focused on specific regions of the country and how they are broadening the Scheme’s reach.
Business is tough enough as it is but identifying and dealing with fraud can be an unwarranted distraction. HSBC has announced the launch of an app designed to flag new scams and keep you up to date with trends in fraud and cyber crime. Could this app help you keep away from the fraudsters?
To close this Bulletin, we review the latest figures from the Finance and Leasing Association which reveal that HP and Leasing deals are on the increase. Following the easing of restrictions, it seems that businesses are again beginning to re-invest.
If you prefer to read what’s featured in this Bulletin, here is a transcript.
Regionally-focused lenders are starting to offer finance under the Recovery Loan Scheme. HSBC launches fraud awareness app; and the latest asset finance figures shows that growth is back. All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin.
Recovery Loan Scheme Lenders
Let’s start this Bulletin with an update on the Recovery Loan Scheme.
First of all, a quick reminder of what the Recovery Loan Scheme is. Well, it’s the replacement for CBILs and Bounce Back Loans. It’s designed to give funding to businesses who are now looking for growth money, or recovery money.
Those lenders who have applied to go onto the panel and been successfully accredited by the British Business Bank will now be able to offer finance to those businesses who were looking to expand the game. When the scheme was launched at the beginning of April I mentioned that the panel was quite tight, quite small, but I said, towards the end of May, early June, we would see the panel beginning to expand. And that has now happened.
The good thing to see is that we’re starting to see more regionally-focused lenders being accredited under the scheme. These lenders are very much focused on certain areas of the country, which would benefit smaller businesses because they will be a much more interested in supporting smaller businesses in those areas.
Who are these lenders Who’ve been accredited to the Scheme?
We’ve got ART Business Loans, covering the West Midlands; BCRS covering the West Midlands as well; Enterprise Answers covering Cumbria, North Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales; and GC Business Finance covering Greater Manchester.
So you can see the North of England is well represented. If you’re in those areas, hunt out those lenders, because they may be able to support you.
We’ve also seen other additions to the panel. The bigger lenders announced in the last two weeks are Starling bank and also Funding Circle. Funding circle, had about 27% of the CBIlS loan market last year, so no doubt they’re going to be a big player in this.
It’s great to see that the panel is now expanding. If you want to know if you can be eligible and want to know a little bit more about the Recovery Loan Scheme, we’re happy to have a chat. Just drop us an email info at business loan services.co.uk and we’ll happily chat with you about all of the options available to you.
HSBC Fraud and Cyber Awareness App
In the current business environment it can be hard enough to make money as it is, but even tougher if you lose that money to fraudsters. According to the National Crime Agency, businesses are losing up to £140 billion per year to fraud. HSBC have come up with a great idea; they are launching a free app to download called Fraud and Cyber Awareness app.This app will help you keep on top of the new trends in scams.
First, a quick look at the top three scams that HSBC have identified.
First of all, purchase scams where non-existent products are bought. That’s costing businesses on average £3,000 a year. Invoice scams, that’s costing businesses, £24,000 a year. And impersonation scams; that’s costing on average £6,500 per business.
So we can see there’s a lot of money to be lost here.
This app is a great addition to your toolkit to keep you aware of what’s going on in the world. When you download the app, the app will give you notifications of the latest scams of all the new trends going on. So it means that you can get on with doing your business and rely on the app then to keep you up to date and what to look out for.
If you’re interested in downloading this app, all you have to do is go to the HSBC website
A great addition to your toolkit to make sure you keep the money in your bank account, not the fraudsters bank.
Asset Finance and Business Growth
Good news coming out, confirming that business activity, starting to get back on track again.
The latest figures have been released from the Finance and Leasing Association, which shows the deal volumes of asset finance facilities are starting to increase again.
The members of the Finance and Leasing Association offer products such as HP and leasing and deal volumes for March have been released.
There’s been a 15% increase in the amount of business done in March, 2021 compared to March 2020. In the first quarter of this year, compared to the first quarter of 2020, the volumes were only up by 1% though, but it’s good to see volumes increasing in March overall.
However, on a 12 month basis to March the volumes over the whole 12 months is down by 20%, but at least we’re starting to see some traction coming back into the marketplace.
Where’s the deal volume coming from? Commercial vehicles, that’s leading the pace with a 20% increase in the amount of deals written in March and also business finance equipment, That’s up 14%. So it’s good to see the businesses are starting to reinvest again. I am sure that doing April and May, those figures would show further increases.
If you want to know more about asset finance and whether it could work for you and your business to get in touch with us, just drop us an email info at business loans services.co.uk. It is good to see the UK economy getting back on track
That’s it for another Bulletin. As ever, I hope you enjoyed watching it and if you did, please, don’t forget to give it a like, a share and subscribe to this channel. Thanks very much and I Look forward to the next time. In the meantime, have a successful and profitable week.
According to the latest Lloyds Bank Business Barometer report, business owners are continuing to feel increasingly optimistic about their future prospects. With optimism and confidence levels reaching new highs we look at one key peril to watch out for.
If you have a idea for a great new business and you need an incentive to get started then check out a business start up competition launched by Tik Tok, the video sharing platform. With a cash prize and an array of support and mentoring could this be the push you’re looking for?
Bank charges are often a bone of contention. To close this Bulletin, we look at the announcement from TSB of an offer of up to two years free banking. One to look at if you wish to reduce the cost of running your day-to-day business banking.
Kickstarting this week’s Business Finance Bulletin, the Recovery Loan Scheme has had a quiet start since its launch but the number of lenders on the panel is now slowly increasing. We look at the latest additions and what continues to hold the Scheme back.
The Start Up Loan Company is encouraging younger people to think about becoming entrepreneurs. This is off the back of an analysis of the 80,000 loans they have distributed which reveals a large portion have gone to new business owners in the 18 to 24 year old age range. How could the loan assist you?
To close, a look at findings from the latest Lloyds Bank UK Recovery Tracker, which uncovers that the UK’s key sectors are back on the path to growth.
If you prefer to read about this week’s news, here’s a transcript of the content…
More lenders offering the Recovery Loan Scheme; young and budding entrepreneurs encouraged to look at a startup loan; and key UK sectors of back on the growth trajectory. All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin.
Recovery Loan Scheme Lenders
The Recovery Loan Scheme launched on the 6th of April, and there hasn’t been an awful lot of noise in the marketplace as regards how successful or otherwise that it’s been. Before we take a look at why this is, let’s remind ourselves quickly of the key features of the Recovery Loan Scheme.
It’s designed to help promote growth, so if you’re looking for additional working capital or cash; buying plants and equipment and machinery, then this is the loan for you. If you don’t want to provide a personal guarantee, you can borrow up to a maximum of £250,000 with no personal guarantee. If you’d want to borrow more than your guarantee would be limited to 20% of the balance.
The interest rate is capped at 14.99% and in terms of the loan term, it depends on the type of product you take be it would be a maximum of three years or a maximum of six years.
Demand at the moment, is still a bit muted and it’s all down to the makeup of the panel. During the early days, it was really only the high street banks and a few other niche players but over the last couple of weeks, we’ve started now to see lenders coming on to the scheme, having applied for and being accredited by the British Business Bank.
The panel, as I record this, now stands at 27 lenders and the recent additions include Triodos bank, Atom bank and Synergy bank, so we’re starting to see some activity coming through.
However, one thing to bear in mind is that the appetite to support is going to be quite varied. The high street banks, well they’re probably going to be quite tough. The other ones are focusing on particular products, but also some of them are being very careful by saying it’s open for only existing customers.
Some of them are saying you have to provide security, which is a bit strange considering the government’s giving an 80% guarantee; a bit bizarre.
So you can see the panel is quite tight and there’s going to be reasons for you to really look closely at each of them to see whether it fits your needs.
If you want to know which lenders are on the panel, just go along to the British Business Bank website, which is www.british-business-bank.co.uk.
Alternatively, of course continue watching this Bulletin and periodically I’ll be telling you about all the new lenders who are coming on the Scheme.
Start Up Loans for Young Entrepreneurs
In the pandemic, one sector of society that has been hit particularly badly are the millennials. These are the 18 to 24 year olds who’ve been hit hardest when it comes to unemployment with them taking the brunt of job losses.
Well, the Start Up Loan Companies, is launching a campaign to encourage these 18 to 24 year olds to not necessarily think about getting a job, but perhaps to think about starting a business.
If you are starting a business, of course, some startup capital will always help and that’s where the Start Up Loan Company comes in.
Since it’s been going since 2012, of the 80,000 successful loan applicants they had, 54% of them have been unemployed and of all of that 54%, 31% of them were 18 to 24 year olds.
Now, interestingly, over the last year, the number of people applying for this in the 18 to 24 year old range range has doubled compared to 2019. So we can see there’s a lot of interest from young people in terms of starting a business. And this is what the startup loan company is hoping to tap into.
If you are in that age bracket and you’re looking to start a business, check out startup loans, it’s a great product.
If there’s four of you, each of you can have a maximum of £25,000, or if you’re on your own, it’s a maximum of £25,000. The interest rate is 6% and you can pay the loan back over five years. Great interest rates and a great loan term.
If you want to know more, just go along to their website, which is www.startuploans.co.uk
Back on the Growth Path
According to the latest Lloyd’s bank UK Recovery Tracker, all the key sectors in the UK economy are starting to look at growth again.
Their latest report for April highlights that of the 14 sectors they regularly monitor, all 14 of them reported positive growth output in the month of April. Now that is the first time since August, 2018, that all 14 sectors have recorded growth. In March it was 11 sectors recording growth. So you can see there’s now been a further increase, which is great news for the economy.
Which sectors are leading the pack? Well it’s manufacturing and also technology. Those are the ones that grew by the largest amount.
However, what is even more encouraging that 13 of the 14 sectors though have reported growth plans over the next 12 months, which is going to exceed that recorded by their global counterparts. So it does appear that UK entrepreneurs and business owners are feeling a lot more optimistic and a lot more bullish than their overseas competitors.
Overall really good news for the UK economy, which means that hopefully we’ll finish 2021 with some very strong figures.
Well, that’s it for another Bulletin and as ever, I hope you enjoyed watching it, and if you did please don’t forget to subscribe to this channel or hit the like and share button.
I look forward to being with you again, next time.
Are you soon facing your first Bounce Back Loan repayment? Many businesses have just paid their first repayment or soon will and are concerned with cashflow still tight. Opening our latest Bulletin, we look at repayment options under the Pay as You Grow Scheme designed to ease your cashflow burden.
A government Bill has been proposed to close a loophole in the insolvency process where Directors can dissolve their company with the aim of walking away from their Bounce Back and CBILS loan liabilities. The Bill, if passed, could see Directors facing sanctions if found guilty of fraudulently dissolving businesses.
To close, a new report highlights that after losing a share of the business lending market, High St banks are again becoming dominant lenders over the alternative lenders and Challenger banks. Is that a good thing?
Here also is the transcript of this latest Bulletin…
Bounce Back Loan repayment options; focus on directors who dissolve companies to avoid repaying government loan schemes; and return of the dominance of big banks in lending.
All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin.
Bounce Back Loan Repayments: Pay As You Grow
Are you one of the 1.5 million business owners that took out a Bounce Back Loan and you took it fairly early on? Well, by now, you will have had a letter from the bank advising that your payments have already started or will shortly be due. Many business owners are beginning to realise about the extent of the liability they took on. We’re certainly having more conversations with business owners who were not realising they’ve got to start paying this debt back.
A recent survey from Lloyds Bank highlighted that 29% of business owners didn’t realise that the government has now launched a new scheme called Pay As You Grow. Under this scheme, you’ve got a couple of options in order to lessen the pain of this first repayment. Obviously you’ve had this money now in your bank account for 12 months, and you’ve got a shock when this first repayment is coming due.
So what are you options? The government’s given you three things you can do. First of all, you can extend the term of the loan from 6 years up to 10 years. You can either take an interest only period for six months, or you can take a complete repayment extension for six months. So this is going to give you some breathing space.
Many people say this is not going to affect your credit record. Well, it’s kind of true in that it won’t go formerly on any of the credit reference agencies, so your record is clear from that point of view. However, do bear in mind, if you are taking one of these extension options, from the bank’s point of view in its internal records, you are flagging yourself up as a business that technically is still in distress. You’ve held your hand up and say, I can’t meet the payment and I need interest only; I need a complete holiday for six months or extend my loan for 10 years.
You are really sending a signal to that lender that all is not well.
Similarly, when you go to apply for finance with an external lender or third party lender, they will also be asking the question, when is your Bounce Back Loan repayment due? And again, if they’ve seen that you’ve taken advantage of this Pay As You Grow scheme, they will also take a step back and say, “Hey, you’re saying that you’re still in trouble.”
So whilst these schemes are great, just bear in mind, the potential impact or the unintended consequence asking for this forbearance can have. Of course, as always, if you are in trouble, make sure that you seek professional advice from your accountant or perhaps an insolvency practitioner, if your business is in that much of a kind of financial distress.
Whilst the scheme is great, just bear in mind, the unintended consequences that could happen if you request one of these forbearances.
Changes to Company Dissolution Rules
As I mentioned in the first section, the Bounce Back and CBILS loan repayments are now starting to be debited to business bank accounts, and the realization, as I said previously, it’s beginning to dawn on business owners, the liability that they’ve taken on and in many cases cashflow may still be a bit tight.
Regretfully, there may be some business directors out there who may think that I know what I’ll do, I’ll just dissolve my company and because I have no personal guarantees on the Bounce Back loan, or my CBILs (if you’ve taken it up to £250,000) why don’t I dissolve my company? That’s it job done. I walk away.
Well, the government is obviously wise to this because they’ve tabled a bill in parliament called the Ratings, (Coronavirus) and Director Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill. Why don’t they come up with more snappy names?
This bill is designed to give the Insolvency Service the ability to investigate Company Directors, where they believe the company has been deliberately dissolved in order to avoid paying back any of the government loan support schemes. If you are found guilty of doing this, you could face a ban from being a Company Directory for up to 15 years. It’s designed to stop directors closing one company down and immediately starting a similar company under a different name the very next day.
If you are thinking of trying to walk away from this liability by dissolving a company, watch out, this really could come back and bite you.
As I mentioned, the previous segment, if you do want to take some advice, make sure in this situation, you go and seek advice from an insolvency practitioner. These are the ones who can guide you through this process. Don’t try to be clever because it really will trip with you.
Dominance of Bank Lending
In 2010, When I established business loan services, we were very much in the middle of the credit crunch. From 2008, 2009 the main high street banks effectively withdrew from supporting small businesses with finance. That of course left the door wide open for the rise of the new alternative lenders. And these guys have really been championing the cause for small business finance, taking a large share of the market.
When 2020 arrived, the Coronavirus really is up ended this kind of evening out of competition issues where the banks had the dominance in the marketplace.
A new reports has come out by Social Market Foundation and Metro bank. They’ve worked out that pre-pandemic, the alternative finance providers had 48% of gross new lending to businesses. Post Corona virus, that’s now fallen to 31%. So we can see that the big banks are starting to come back into play.
However, it’s more by default than design because with the Bounce Backs and CBILs loans, very many of them have come from the high street banks. But the danger here of course, is as demand for finance remains quite muted, some businesses are sitting on a lot of cash and still have money left over from the Bounce Back Loans and CBILs. It means that some of these smaller alternative finance providers may struggle to make inroads into the marketplace if demand for finance remains muted.
The danger of course, is that some of these alternative finance providers may close their doors and that will be a shame because the high street banks naturally just do not have the appetite to support small businesses.
Let’s see what happens over the next 12 months or so and let’s hope that the marketplace still remains competitive when it comes to access to funds.
That’s it if for another Bulletin. I hope you enjoyed watching and if you did, don’t forget to give it a like, a share and of course, subscribe to this channel.
That’s it for another week. I look forward to being with you next time. In the meantime, have a great and successful week.
Opening our latest Bulletin, we look at how a survey from Bibby Financial Services confirms that business owners continue to feel increasingly confident about the future. What’s driving their confidence and what’s the one thing which could hold them back?
Tide, the mobile business account provider, has announce the forthcoming launch of Tide Invoice Assistant. We look at how the new service can save business owners time in handling their invoicing tasks.
To wrap up, we review the latest figures from the Finance and Leasing Association which, for the first time in nearly a year, report an increase in Asset Finance deals written. Is this a sign that businesses are beginning to reinvest?
If you prefer to read what’s in the latest Bulletin here is the transcript.
Business Finance Bulletin Transcript
Business confidence levels continue to rise. Tide bank launches new add-on service to reduce invoicing burdens and asset finance usage signals that maybe businesses are starting to reinvest.
All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin.
Business Confidence Continues to Rise
It’s great to be starting this Bulletin with more positive news. The positivity of course, is around the predicted bounce back in the UK economy, which the government and the Bank of England is now starting to signal. Also confidence levels amongst business owners is continuing to rise. This has been bourne out in the latest survey undertaken by Bibby Financial Services and IN the latest survey they’ve revealed that 75% of small business owners say they now have a more positive outlook for the rest of the year.
Also 74% of them say they anticipate that business would return to pre COVID levels by Christmas. So there’s quite a significant turnaround. What’s driving this?
In the survey, 59% of business owners said that they are looking forward to acquiring new customers. These are customers that they’ve never dealt with before. So if we’ve got business owners looking to acquire new clients, that’s a really good sign of positivity.
And also this positivity is backed up by hard cash. On average small business owners say that they’re looking to invest approximately £150,000 over the next 12 months. This has been driven primarily by the construction sector and also the transport sector and with these sectors, once they start spending, it really trickles down to the economy. Also a third of businesses say they’re going to be reinvesting in hiring new staff and also training their existing teams as well.
So all of this is a really good sign. Of course, there is one downside. The survey also revealed that small businesses are owed on average, approximately £116,376 in unpaid invoices. I’ve mentioned in recent Bulletins that we’ve got to be careful. Now, when you start growing watch that you don’t lose control of your cash flow; it’s cash that will really fuel your growth. So do keep an eye on your cash position, but overall, really good to see that both the economy is looking more positive and also a positive outlook from small business owners as well.
Tide Invoice Assistant
Do you spend a lot of time on administrative tasks, such as creating invoices, chasing up on invoices, managing expenses and spreadsheets? Well, according to Tide, the mobile only bank, businesses can spend about one and a half hours per day On average chasing overdue payments. They can also spend three to four hours per week or managing expenses, creating invoices and managing spreadsheets.
All of this of course is unproductive time; it takes you away from the important task of generating sales and managing customers.
If you’re already a Tide bank customer, you can as of now, create invoices on your app. Well, Tide have now launched a new add on service called Invoice Assistant. This will allow you to do a number of things in terms of managing your payments and invoices. Under Tide Invoice Assistant, you will now get automatic notification of when payments are made, so you can do your reconciliation.
It will automatically chase those customers who are overdue on payment. You can also set up direct debits via GoCardless, so when the invoice is due, the payment is automatically taken, so no more chasing. It’ll also provide some credit insurance as well to protect you against a nonpayment.
This add-on service costs just £10 per month plus VAT. If you find that you are spending an awful lot of time on admin, and you think you can manage your time in a better way, then this service will be ideal for you. If you want to know more about the Tide service, all you have to do is go along to their website, which is www.tide.co. and there you will find information on their business account and also this new service.
A great new service from Tide for those businesses who are time poor.
Asset Finance Growth
More good news. I’ve taken a look at the latest figures from the Finance and Leasing Association in terms of the amount of business their members have been doing with asset finance deals such as HP and the leasing.
The latest figures for the number of deals written in March has shown that there’s been an increase of 15% in activity in the month of March 2021 compared to March, 2020. Of course, March, 2020 was the first month of the lockdown. And so to see a 15% increase on that month is perhaps not unsurprising, but it’s the fact that it is an increase is a positive. It just shows that businesses have started reinvesting back in their business.
Overall, on a 12 month basis, year to year volumes is still down 20% because obviously activity was very low during the whole of the year, but it’s really encouraging to see at least in the month of March activity levels of building back up. Where’s the activity happening?
There was a 22% increase in the deals written in March in terms of commercial vehicles; there’s also a 14% increase in deal activity for business equipment. So it is very clear that businesses are starting to reinvest back into their businesses, which is obviously a good sign and just shows that business owners are ready to be back up and running and a lot more confident about the future.
If you are interested in asset finance and want to know more about HP and leasing opportunities, please just drop us a line info at business loan services . co.uk, and we will happily guide you through the various options.
So overall, really good news this year, that business owners are starting to spend and investing.
That’s it for another Bulletin and as ever, I hope you enjoyed watching. If you did, please, don’t forget to give it a like a share and subscribe to this channel. So that’s it and I look forward to being with you again, next time and in the meantime, have a great successful week.
Opening our latest Business Finance Bulletin, as businesses get back on the path growth, what are their top priorities and actions? We look at the findings from the recent Hitachi Capital Business Finance Business Barometer report.
It’s not all good news for businesses though. We review the most recent Red Flag Alert report from Begbies Traynor which reveals a jump in the businesses which class themselves as in ‘significant financial distress. What actions can you take to keep on the right side of the track?
To wrap up this edition, a report from Dun and Bradstreet highlights that a continuation in late practices could hinder the hoped-for business recovery and growth during the remainder of this year.
As the economy kicks back into action, it’s not only businesses which are feeling more confident. Opening this latest Bulletin, we look at a number of lenders who are offering increased support to small businesses with new funding pots and enhanced terms.
Have you tried opening a business bank account during the last 12 months? If you have then no doubt it was a frustrating experience. The government seems to think so as well with the launch of a Treasury Select Committee investigation. What are they asking of the High Street banks?
To close, in the latest Lloyds Bank Recovery Tracker further good news about an improvement in business recovery. One sector stands out in seeing the signs of an early bounce back.
Here also is the transcript of this latest Business Finance Bulletin…
Increased access to finance for small businesses; banks questioned about their opening of new bank accounts; and business recovery starting to look strong. All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin.
Small Business Finance Support
It the weeks go by and I speak to more and more business owners, there’s one theme that’s constantly coming out and that’s an increased level of confidence. Yes, business owners are feeling a lot more optimistic about the future, and it’s not only business owners who are feeling more confident; it’s also lenders.
Over the last week or so, I’ve seen more lenders coming out and saying that they want to support businesses with increased access to finance. So let’s take a look at a couple of these examples. First up Bibby Financial Services. Bibbys are an invoice finance provider, and they’ve announced the creation of the Pandemic Recovery Fund. They’ve put aside £300 million to support small businesses. This is on the back of a survey they’ve carried out where 66% of small business owners say that they anticipate business being back to pre-COVID levels by September. Obviously all of that increased business brings working capital needs, and that’s where Bibby’s funds comes in.
Next step, is Nucleus Commercial Finance. They’ve announced some tweaks to their Business Growth Loan. Previously, you could have a loan for six months up to a maximum of £25,000. Obviously they are confident about the future, so they’ve now increased that loan term up to 12 months, and you can borrow up to a maximum of £50,000.
Next up, Yorkshire Building Society or YBS Commercial Mortgages. They’ve announced that for their semi-commercial mortgage range they’ve now introduced a 10 year fixed rate. That’s a real sign of confidence they’ve got in the marketplace.
Next up a new lender to the market, Go Business Loans. Go Business Loans have just launched offering limited companies and LLPs loans from £2,500 up to maximum of £20,000. You can apply online and you get notification of the decision within 24 hours. It is great to see a new lender coming into the marketplace, so well done to the team at Go Business Loans.
So overall you can see, it’s not just business owners who are confident about the future; it’s also lenders as well, which is a great signal or a great sign that perhaps better times are around the corner.
Opening a Business Bank Account
Have you tried opening a business bank account over the last 12 months? Well, if you did no doubt it was a highly frustrating experience. The high street banks in particular practically closed their doors to new customers. They just didn’t have the resources and the manpower to cope with the volume of requests for new bank accounts, particularly from sole traders who were trading through a personal account, but realised they needed to have a fully fledged business account in order to qualify for the CBILS and Bounce Back Loans. So as a result, the whole system ground to a halt.
So bad has it been that last week, the Treasury Select Committee actually wrote to a number of the banks being a Barclays, Lloyd’s, Nat West, Metro, Santander and HSBC asking them for comments on their account opening procedures.
They want to know how long does it take to open an account; Have you had any complaints; how you’ve responded to those complaints. Also a killer question, do you intend staying in the small business market?
All of these banks have to reply to the Treasury Select Committee letter by the 19th of May. So it’d be interesting to see what their responses are. I guess the fact that they’ve even received the letter may wake up some of them to think, Hey, we need to get back on track here and make it easy to open a business account. Obviously the economy can’t operate if people don’t have bank accounts, so this is why the government has taken a very keen interest on this.
It will be interesting to see what the response is from the banks and more importantly, what action they’re going to take to make it easier for businesses to open bank accounts.
Business Recovery Improvement
In the first segment of this Bulletin I highlighted that there’s been a definite increase in the feeling of confidence amongst UK small businesses. This has been born out by the latest Lloyds Bank Recovery Tracker. In a review of the 14 sectors that the tracker looks at, 11 of them have said they’ve seen an increase in business in March. In fact, the growth rate has been the highest since September 2020. So we can see there is definitely an increase in levels of activity in the UK economy.
The transport sector particularly, which covers not only logistics, but airlines, rail, and also the bus industry has seen a significant jump in activity. And that’s a really good positive sign that the UK economy is starting to move. So really good news. However, one thing I did cover in the previous bullets in that of course growth brings its own problems and that is access to cash to fuel your working capital need.
So with all of this growth going on, one thing I plead is to make sure that you watch your cashflow. If you need to have access to finance, make sure that you look at all the various options available to you, not just commercial loans, business loans, invoice finance, and asset finance, but also the new Recovery Loan Scheme. All of these are out there designed to support you as you start to grow again.
If you want to chat through any of these finance options, of course, just drop us an email info at businessloanservices.co.uk, and we’ll happily chat through all the various options with you. So great to see that the UK economy is back on the growth path, but watch out for that need for cash.
That’s it for another Bulletin and as ever I hope you enjoyed watching. If you did, please, don’t forget to give it a like, a share and of course, subscribe to this channel.
We open our latest Business Finance Bulletin with the good news that business confidence levels are on the up. The latest Business Barometer report from Hitachi Capital Business Finance reveals that an increasing number of business owners are predicting improved months ahead.
Cashflow can be tight for many businesses, but particularly for start ups. Just Cashflow, the short term finance lender, has announced that alongside their new Business Account, qualifying start ups can now access their Revolving Credit Facility.
To wrap up this Bulletin, we review the latest company insolvency figures which highlight that businesses potentially in trouble continue to be protected by the various government support schemes.
You can read the transcript of this Bulletin below…
Business confidence is starting to return; the short-term lender Just cashflow extends supports to startups; and company insolvencies still remain low. All of this in the latest Business Finance Bulletin.
Business Finance Confidence
Let’s opened this bulletin with some good news. Hitachi Capital Business Finance, as part of their quarterly Business Barometer series, have spoken to approximately 1,300 small business owners and the resounding message is that confidence is beginning to return to the marketplace.
Let’s have a look at those businesses who say that they are predicting growth.
Well, three months ago, 26% of businesses said that they were predicting growth for their business.
Forward three months to today, that figure now stands at 36% of business owners saying that they are planning growth over the coming months. That’s a quite a big increase and that’s a big vote of confidence for the UK economy.
Let’s look at the flip side of businesses who were fearing collapse. Well, 12 months ago, the survey found that 29% of small business owners said that they were fearful that their businesses would not survive.
Now, 12 months later, that figure stands at just 7%. That’s a significant fall and just shows how much confidence is now starting to come back into the market place. But of course, it’s not all plain sailing.
I just want to make you aware of one key thing to look out for and that is growth brings its own problems, particularly in terms of cashflow. When you start growing again, particularly if you’re growing rapidly, there’s a big demand on your cash. You need to buy in stock. You need perhaps to fund the growing debtor book, all of this needs cash.
So do watch that and make sure that you are forecasting your cash flow requirements ahead to make sure that you don’t run out of funds, but overall, a really good vote of confidence for the UK economy.
Just Cashflow Supports Start Ups
Are you planning to start up a new business or you have recently started one? I’m sure you’ll agree that the one thing that can hold you back is cash or more particularly cashflow.
Poor cashflow can be a killer for any business, but for startups in particular it can be very challenging.
The short-term finance provider Just Cashflow has announced, it is now going to support qualifying startups by giving them access to their Revolving Credit Facility, which is a facility up to the amount of £10,000. This sits alongside their newly launched business account which is available via a mobile phone or a desktop app. And it does all of the things that a traditional bank account will do. You can make payments online, both in and out. You have a master debit card as well. It integrates with various software accounting packages.
So it really is a good alternative to your main high street banks and particularly of interest of course to startups, where you may be able to access this Revolving Credit Facility up to £10,000. This facility acts essentially like an overdraft limit where often times when you need to make payments out, but you haven’t got the cash in from your clients yet; it acts like a bridge between cash in and cash out a really useful facility for startups.
If you want to know more about the Revolving Credit Facility and also the new business account, just go along to the just cashflow website, which is www.just-cashflow.com. A great new service by Just Cashflow and good to see that people are out there supporting new start ups.
Let’s take our usual monthly look at company insolvency figures. That’s a bit of a depressing topic, of course, but it’s really important that you watch this, particularly if you provide credit to your customers, by giving them 30, 60, 90 days before paying you. You really need to watch the trends going out there to make sure you don’t get caught out.
The figures as I’ve reported in previous bulletins continue to be very low, which is puzzling compared to where UK economy is at the moment in terms of the stresses out there. The latest figures have been released by the Insolvency Service for March, 2021. And in that month, they were 992 firms that went into some form of insolvency arrangement. Now compared to March, 2020, that is down 20%. And that’s the puzzle. You’ve got lots of stresses in the economy, and yet a lower number of businesses are entering into insolvency compared to March, 2020.
If you wind it back a further 12 months to March, 2019, this figure is down a further 37%. So again, a very large drop in the number of businesses going into insolvency.
But of course, the reason behind this is the level of government support, via bounce backs and the CBILs loans that were given; the furlough or the various grants. But we know all of that is now coming to an end or has come to an end. The distresses will now start to come through.
The other thing of course is the perils that come with growth. And I mentioned in the first segment, you’ve got to watch out when you grow your businesses; growth brings an increased demand for cash. And if you can’t access that, then you may get into trouble. So if you are providing credit, just keep an eye on those firms, making sure that they are financially sound.
Also if you are one of the businesses suffering financially, make sure that you take the appropriate advice. Go speak to your financial advisor, your accountant, or seek out a licensed insolvency practitioner in order to make sure that you seek out the correct advice.
That’s it for this Bulletin. As ever, I hope you liked it and if you did, please, don’t forget to give it a like, a share and of course, subscribe to this channel.
So that’s it and I look forward to being with you next time In the meantime, have a profitable, successful and safe week.
Hi Rob, it was so interesting and entertaining listening to you at the Kevin Green Wealth Coach Workshop in Reading this weekend! I didnt realise you can find Finance proposals such fun!. Brilliant tips! Thanks.
Gaz Jabeen | Bollywood Burn Out
Rob kindly agreed to attend the recent Pontypridd RFC sponsors networking evening and delivered what can only be described as an excellent talk on 5 Tactics to Boost Your Business and Your Profits. He kept the audience engaged throughout and the feedback from everyone was excellent. Rob is very knowledgeable on business and finance and on top of that is a genuine nice guy. We hope to have him back at a future event and I have no hesitation in recommending Rob’s services.
Angela Holloman-Coombes | Connective HR
Further to your recent presentation at LEAD Wales just wanted to say it was very refreshing to see somebody talk passionately and positively about finance, very insightful!
Kay Hyde | Hyde & Hyde Architects
I wanted to thank you for such an insightful, energetic, and entertaining talk at the Kevin Green Wealth event on securing funding and creating a successful plan. It was brilliantly executed and a pleasure to listen to and the ideas I’ve learned are definitely going to help me in going forward.
Max Cooper of Manchester
Rob delivered a series of 3 workshops aimed at understanding how finance houses look at finance propositions with the aim for us as a team to deliver more of a bespoke offering to our customer base. The training was delivered to a mixture of staff who work with new businesses start-ups and existing established businesses across Mid & South West Wales. Rob delivered the training with an abundance of passion and has really helped my team look at financial propositions in a different light, many thanks again Rob and I look forward to work with you in the near future.
Shayne Yates | Welsh Government Regional Centre Service Mid Wales