SMEs benefit from €70m funding pot

Munster SMEs secure 20% of SBCI and BFS Ireland fund

  • Alternative sources of funding a vital resource for SMEs during Covid-19 crisis
  • Construction, wholesale and recruitment sectors account for over two thirds of funding utilised in Munster to date

Construction, wholesale and recruitment SMEs in Munster have together utilised 20% of the total €70m funding made available from the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to Bibby Financial Services Ireland. The funding accessed by these three sectors has been used to ensure strong cashflow and finance business growth, with more financing expected to be provided as SMEs look to recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

The new figures come as Bibby Financial Services celebrates the first full year of operations of its Cork office. Since last June, it has doubled the number of clients accessing its alternative funding products and services across Munster.

Since 2016, the SBCI has partnered with Bibby Financial Services Ireland to make €70m in funding available to Irish SMEs. With the major banks currently reporting overwhelming increases in credit applications, this funding can provide an immediate cash injection to SMEs, as well as the ongoing working capital required to grow and expand the business.

Of the funding provided to businesses in Munster since 2016, 31% has been provided to businesses operating in the construction sector, 29% to wholesalers, and 11% by recruitment SMEs. Additional sectors that have drawn on the funding include manufacturing, transport, facilities management and media and communications businesses.

While Bibby Financial Services Ireland offers a range of different financing options, this particular funding facility offers SMEs a discount of up to 1.5% on existing invoice finance services. Last year Bibby Financial Services Ireland and the SBCI launched a new Trade Finance product, which allows businesses to buy essential equipment during the current crisis before needing to pay for them.

Commenting on the figures, Stephen McCarthy, Head of Sales at Bibby Financial Services Ireland, said: “As Ireland’s economy emerges from the immediate effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, fast access to finance and strong cashflow is more important to SMEs than ever before. Many banks are facing a backlog of applications for additional working capital facilities from SMEs, and our figures show how alternative providers can help meet that demand.

“Since we established our Cork office a year ago we’ve seen a strong appetite for our services among Munster SMEs who need fast, flexible access to funding. We’re proud to be supporting these businesses and helping them go from strength to strength, with solutions that are tailored to each business and how they intend to use the funding.”

Nick Ashmore, CEO at SBCI, said: “We’re committed to providing greater choice to Irish businesses when it comes to their lending options, and are delighted to see such strong demand for this funding. No matter the obstacles faced by a business – be they threats to the supply chain caused by Covid-19, Brexit, or a struggle to drive growth – SBCI funding can be a valuable aid in overcoming them.”

Sean McGrath, Managing Director at Hamilton French, the specialist recruitment agency, 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 cashflow 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 cashflow 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 independent financial services partner to over 12,000 businesses worldwide. With 40 years’ experience, the business has a funding capability that exceeds €1 billion and an annual collective client turnover of €11 billion.

19 June 2020

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