Businesses turning to alternative finance

Munster businesses turn to alternative finance in face of rising costs and Brexit challenges

Bibby Financial Services Ireland doubles Munster client numbers in 2019

New figures from Bibby Financial Services Ireland, a leading provider of financial support and funding solutions to SMEs, show that the number of Munster-based clients using its alternative funding services and products has doubled over the past year. The increase comes as Munster SMEs face the twin challenges of rising costs and a changed export market following Brexit.

Since opening its new Cork office last June, Bibby Financial Services has seen a significant increase in queries from SMEs across Munster who wish to explore alternative sources of funding and ways of safeguarding their cash flow.

Enquiries have come from businesses across a range of sectors including wholesale, manufacturing and professional services. In particular, many businesses are looking to secure quicker access to financing than that provided by the major banks.

As well as turning to alternative forms of funding, Bibby Financial Services’ most recent SME Ireland Confidence Tracker indicated that 38% of SMEs have established new supply sources, while 32% have negotiated new agreements with buyers and suppliers. A third of SMEs surveyed said they had applied for some form of business funding in the past six months, with 28% citing rising costs as the largest barrier to investment in their business.

Stephen McCarthy, Head of Sales for Munster, Bibby Financial Services Ireland, said: “Munster has a vibrant SME sector, and over the past six months we’ve seen a big jump in the number of businesses looking for financial support and advice, no doubt spurred by the departure of the UK from the EU and the need to look to new markets.

Traditional lending options can often be a slow and frustrating process for SMEs, who are used to moving quickly and need fast access to finance. Rather than engaging in a protracted decision-making process, we work with businesses to find fast, flexible solutions that are tailored to the type of funding they need and how they intend to use it. We’re delighted that this approach is bearing fruit in Cork and across Munster, and helping so many businesses go from strength to strength.”

Sean McGrath, Managing Director at Hamilton French, the specialist recruitment agency based in Cork, said: “The funding provided by SBCI and Bibby Financial Services has been crucial to fuelling our business’s growth over the past few years. Working closely with the team at Bibby, we’re better positioned to absorb any disruption to cash flow caused by late payments or other issues, and provide a specialised service to in the construction, pharmaceutical and technology sectors.”

Bibby Financial Services Ireland is a leading provider of financial support and funding solutions to Irish SMEs. The company helps businesses to thrive and grow in domestic and international markets by providing tailored and flexible funding solutions for a range of scenarios including cash flow funding, new equipment purchase, growth and expansion, management buy-ins and buy-outs, refinancing, corporate restructuring and mergers and acquisitions.

Bibby Financial Services Ireland’s funding portfolio includes confidential invoice, trade and export finance, foreign exchange services, bad debt protection and specialist funding for a range of sectors. With a 95% client satisfaction rating, our clients have confidence that we support their business.

Bibby Financial Services Ireland is part of Bibby Financial Services Group, a leading global financial services partner operating in 40 locations across 14 countries. With 40 years’ experience, the business has a funding capability that exceeds £1 billion and an annual collective client turnover of £10.1 billion.

6 February 2020

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