Blog

By Mark O'Rourke, Managing Director, Ireland

06 Jul 2021

The complexity of Irish banking has changed drastically over the past two decades with many big banks exiting and the emergence of fintech start-ups. Bibby Financial Services has operated throughout and, we’re delighted to say, is still the leading provider of alternative finance to Irish SME’s.

So, how did we get here?

Bibby Financial Services Ireland, a leading provider of financial services partner to SMEs, part of the BFS group, opened its doors to Irish businesses in 2006. The Dublin office is one of the 40 locations across Europe and Asia. Today, we manage annual client turnover of €10.9 billion globally and our total funding capability exceeds €1 billion.

As a trusted partner to more than 12,000 businesses worldwide, we have built a reputation for consistently delivering excellent service to our customers. None of which would have been possible without our fantastic colleagues, past and present.

Mark O’Rourke, Bibby Financial Services Ireland, Managing Director:

“Having been with Bibby in Ireland since its early days, I have observed remarkable growth of both our customer base and our team. Our customer base now spans the entire island of Ireland and a variety of sectors. Throughout the 15 years, our partner network has grown substantially too, with the likes of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland and Permanent TSB. Relationships like this are something to be truly proud of, and gives us an even stronger foundation for innovation and growth as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

As a relationship-based funder, each customer is unique to us. We are driven by strong customer relationships. In a very real sense, Bibby Financial Services customer relationships extend to a lot more than merely supplying funding. Instead, we focus on combining a deep collaboration with close customer contact and in-depth market knowledge.

Alan Connolly, Allpro Services, Managing Director:

“We would like to wish Bibby Financial Services Ireland the best on their milestone anniversary, having worked with them for most of those 15 years we have always found their service and people to be understanding to our unique requirements and we have found them to be responsive to our needs. Bibby Financial Services Ireland have been an excellent partner and we wish you many more successful years in Ireland supporting our SME’s.”

We now work with hundreds of businesses in the Irish market, including great operations such as Allpro Services, Frontline Security, Doran Transport, Weatherglaze Windows and TTM Healthcare.

Mark O’Rourke, Bibby Financial Services Ireland, Managing Director:

“When it comes to the businesses we work with and support daily, trust is essential. Over the past 15 years, we have worked tirelessly to firstly earn, and then maintain and grow that trust through our innovation and, importantly, our results. These close personal relationships with businesses are very important to us and we look forward to growing these relationships even further over the coming years.”

The commitment continues, and so does investment.

In February, BFS joined forces with Permanent TSB (PTSB) in an exclusive partnership to offer business owners and SMEs across Ireland an enhanced range of funding solutions that are designed to improve cash flow and fund their growth ambitions. This new relationship between one of Ireland’s leading retail and SME banks and a specialist lender is one of the first of its kind in Ireland and is set to transform the Irish financial services landscape.

The strategic partnership involves Bibby Financial Services Ireland offering Invoice Finance services to new and existing PTSB customers. Invoice Finance offers businesses access to cashflow outstanding from their unpaid invoices, helping them to access income they have already earned but not yet received. This offers businesses the option of using their own funds to improve day to day or seasonal cashflow fluctuations or finance bigger growth plans.

Mags Brennan, Head of Business Banking, Permanent TSB,

“We’re delighted that PTSB has chosen to partner with Bibby Financial Services Ireland for this exclusive service. With our extensive local and global expertise, we are the best positioned specialist lender operating in the Irish marketplace to offer this service to PTSB customers”

Giving Something Back

Over the past 15 years, we’ve rolled out our ‘Giving Something Back’ programme, an initiative designed to make a positive impact and give something back to our community – be it a local project or national charity. We’re delighted to say that it’s grown year on year to become an integral part of who we are as a business today.

The programme continues to unearth the fantastic support and passion of our people, and since its beginning, employees and our businesses have donated an amazing €50,000 to many great charitable causes including Laura Lynn, the Irish Cancer Society and Debra Ireland.

Mark O’Rourke, Bibby Financial Services Ireland, Managing Director:

“Nothing is more important to us than the relationships we have with our customers, employees, partners and the communities. We want to positively contribute to the local communities in which we work, and our Corporate Social Responsibility shapes the way we do this.”

Jimmy Fearon, Chief Executive of Debra Ireland - The Butterfly Skin charity sharing this short video with us on our recent March4March campaign supporting this charity with their care and support to people and their families who suffer from EB (epidermolysis bullosa) a rare skin condition.

Moving forward

We are driven by designing bespoke solutions for our clients, supporting businesses in more than 300 different industry sectors, providing innovative, tailored funding solutions. No matter what stage or cycle the business is at, we help with cash flow funding, new equipment purchase, growth and expansion, management buy-ins and buy-outs, refinancing, corporate restructuring and mergers and acquisitions.

The changing needs of businesses around the world has never been more evident than now. Whether adapting to remote working, moving quickly to new operating models or finding new markets, SMEs globally have been forced to adapt rapidly to the Covid-19 pandemic. While this has presented significant challenges for many, it has also created an opportunity for change.

As a sector, we must continue to adapt to offer genuine choice to SME clients, putting them in the driving seat of the customer experience, and sharing data that can inform business decisions.

BFS is committed to evolving commercial finance for the digital age. Our initiative - BFS 4.0 - focuses on our journey to become a leading international provider of working capital solutions for SMEs, with a digital, omni-channel delivery and operational platform. It is designed to strengthen partnerships and build new ecosystems to expand the use of receivables finance, widen our distribution channels and expand our product capabilities to enhance our support for those that choose to interact with us directly and indirectly.

Mark O’Rourke, Bibby Financial Services Ireland, Managing Director:

“Over the past year, SMEs globally have been forced to adapt rapidly to significant change posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, whether that meant moving to remote working, setting up new operating models or finding new markets. With restrictions now finally easing and operations ramping up again, we are seeing significant opportunities for growth and innovation. At Bibby, we’re more excited than ever to continue working with our businesses to assist them along the next stages of their journey.”

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