The third-party channel has “undoubtedly” assisted supply chain lender Octet deliver more than 500 per cent growth in the past three years, the SME lender has said.
Octet, which has partnered with the broker channel since its inception in 2008, provides debtor and trade finance as well as supplier payment finance to small and medium businesses. The company reportedly wrote more than $700 million of business in the last financial year.
The company has reportedly been growing rapidly in recent years, achieving “over 500 per cent growth over the last three financial years”, which it says it “firmly expect[s] to continue into FY 2019-20”.
This growth has been largely driven by the broker channel, according to Octet, which accounts for up to 60 per cent of its flows.
Speaking to The Adviser, Nigel Thayer, the director of working capital solutions at Octet, commented: “The finance broker channel is a major part of Octet’s business and has undoubtedly assisted us in reaching the high levels of growth we have experienced and continue to achieve right across Australia.
“A high percentage of our new business enquiries can be directly attributed to finance brokers, and we are committed to nurturing these existing relationships and welcoming new ones as we continue to assist clients with our innovative debtor finance and trade finance solutions.”
Mr Thayer added that he thought brokers were particularly well placed to help SMEs as they are “on the front line with their clients who are seeking improvements to cash flow and overall working capital”.
According to the director of working capital solutions, the company had been investing “significantly” in “technology and resources to make the client experience seamless” for both brokers and their clients.
He added that the lender was also demonstrating its “commitment to finance broker channels” by offering referring brokers with Qantas points in addition to upfront and trail commission and will be rolling out a new website in the coming months, which will feature educational content for brokers about diversification and commercial lending.
New SME funding guide
The news comes amid renewed focus on SME lending, with the broking industry and government increasingly looking at expanding the offerings available to businesses.
Last week, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), Kate Carnell, launched the Business Funding Guide, developed in partnership with Scottish Pacific Business Finance, to help more financial services providers navigate and offer a range of SME funding options.
Targeted at brokers, accountants, bookkeepers and financial advisers “because of the key role they play in helping business owners with financial decisions”, the Business Funding Guide aims to “help tackle the access to funding crisis faced by Australian small businesses” by outlining the range of finance options available and help them identify the right funding solutions for their clients.
It includes a guide of the main funding options, a funding decision flowchart, a funding matrix and several scenarios. It also comes with a companion guide for SME clients – FitsME: Essential Guide to Business Funding.
It is hoped the guide will also result in more SME funding applications being approved.
[Related: New SME funding guide launches]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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