Invoice financing is catching on in Northern Ireland’s business community, according to local lenders.
“Where invoice finance was once perceived as a temporary measure to overcome common obstacles such as customer late payment and issues with cash-flow, the tougher lending conditions experienced both here and overseas has changed perception with some economists suggesting that the trend is more permanent and will lead to a transformation of the finance sector across the UK,” said Nick McCafferty of Bibby Financial Services (BFS) Northern Ireland.
Adrian Doran, head of corporate banking at Barclays Corporate agreed.
“Companies are increasingly looking at ways of using their assets, such as debtors, as a means of raising finance,” he said.
“Invoice discounting is becoming increasingly popular as a form of finance for growth companies. Likewise banks are moving away from offering large unstructured overdrafts to more structured products such as invoice discounting — we expect this trend to continue.”
Westminster has also acknowledged the sector’s growing influence among SMEs in particular.
In a report from the Department for Business and Skills, invoice finance was identified as playing a “crucial role in securing access to working capital” in a new business landscape.
Mr McCafferty said the export sector which is benefitting the most from invoice finance with BFS experiencing an increased demand for its export invoice finance offering.