The Interface Financial Group (IFG)

The Interface Financial Group (IFG)

July 28, 2011 12:00 ET

New Measures from Funders Required to Help SME's

The Forum of Private Business Calls on Banks & Alternative Funders

BIRMINGHAM, WEST MIDLANDS--(Marketwire - July 28, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

The Interface Financial Group (IFG), North American largest alternative funding source for small businesses, announced that the company offers support to small businesses that are struggling with raising capital to fund growth prior to economic recovery. IFG provides short-term financial resources including debtor factoring, invoice discounting and invoice factoring to companies in the UK, Ireland, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore.

The Forum of Private Business is calling for measures to restore trust in banks and help alternative funding platforms such as factoring & invoice discounting compete in finance markets dominated by mainstream lenders, following figures suggesting confidence and trust is in decline.

The release of the first quarterly finance monitor commissioned by the British Bankers' Association's Business Finance taskforce has pointed out that approximately 670,000 firms (15%) – needed funding during the past year but did not apply for it and 18% believe they will need finance in the next three months but feel they will be unable to apply unless economic conditions improve markedly.

Paul Barnsley, chief operating officer for The Interface Financial Group (IFG) said "The report is useful and helps us to see a clearer picture of the situation between businesses and banks but the facts remain that small businesses are clearly experiencing a crisis of confidence in the UK's banking system."

What we need is a platform for the alternative funders to compete in the finance markets dominated by the Banks. SME's who take the time to research & embrace invoice discounting or factoring find out how beneficial these alternative funding routes are, and how much more flexible they are compared to Bank borrowing."

The FPB said that while the current economic climate is seen by respondents as the main barrier to borrowing, it is followed by discouragement – either direct discouragement following an informal inquiry at a bank, or discouragement of a more indirect kind because a refusal had been expected.

Just 51% of SMEs are presently using external finance – significantly fewer than in 2007 (69%) and 2004 (81%), according to Cambridge University's Centre for Business Research. For larger SMEs employing 50-249 staff the figure is 81%.

According to the report, most lending requests were agreed, however this does not take into consideration the number of requests that are not considered or rejected before processing. Firms that suffer most or who have the most difficulty in securing facilities are smaller employers and sole traders along with firms seeking new rather than renewed funding. The other "limiting" factor is the firms' credit rating. "With factoring & invoice discounting, we do look at the credit rating of the SME, but our decision to fund is influenced heavily by the strength and quality of the client's debtors or customers" said Paul. "This enables us to fund small or new businesses who have won contracts or orders from larger businesses, it is likely that the Bank would not offer facilities to these businesses."

Paul added: "We all need to work harder and communicate better the lending process to potential customers. In addition if we or the Bank cannot help a customer then we should be pointing them towards alternatives who we feel can meet their needs."

About The Interface Financial Group (

The Interface Financial Group (IFG) provides short-term financial resources including invoice factoring (invoice discounting).IFG launched the UK operation in 2010 following the success of its New Zealand, and Australia businesses which launched in 2004, and 2006. IFG's innovative products also includes spot factoring – the purchase of a single invoice or number of invoices. IFG does not require the whole debtor book.

The IFG Network is the funding arm of The Interface Financial Group providing capital and transactional support to IFG's international office network. IFG has grown to over (150) international offices in the UK, the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore. Each IFG office is managed on a local level, providing immediate service to clients with local knowledge and experience. This makes IFG unique to all other Factoring Companies in the UK. The IFG team has substantial business experience and expertise in numerous diverse areas, including accounting, finance, law, marketing, banking, etc.

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