Debtor finance specialist Scottish Pacific has begun rolling out a new asset finance offering through the broker channel, as it looks to help brokers service more of their SME clients’ needs.
Last year, the CEO of Scottish Pacific, Peter Langham, told The Adviser that the company would be looking to add more products to its solution suite, including an asset finance product, and roll these out to third-party partners to ensure brokers can offer more solutions to their clients.
While the lender had been piloting the asset finance product through some its broker and introducer partners that were already using a Scottish Pacific invoice finance facilitiy, Mr Langham has confirmed that the product will now be rolled out more broadly.
The asset finance enables SMEs that have significant plant and equipment or property available to to take out a loan using their assets as security. This provides those businesses already using an invoice finance facility with flexible working capital to further grow the business.
Speaking to The Adviser following the launch of the new ASBFEO/Scottish Pacific Business Funding Guide, Mr Langham elaborated: “In our core debtor finance business, circa 40 per cent of our business comes from brokers, and we considerably increase that business each year,” he said, adding that the loan book is currently growing at about 14 per cent with the lender providing $1.3 billion in loans.
Mr Langham continued: “The number of new deals we do increases every year, and brokers represent a higher proportion of all our new clients, across all our new products, and that proportion continues to increase as well.
“So, we’ve had a very good year. The number of deals we’re getting from a number of different brokers always increases. Meanwhile, we are adding more and more solutions. For the past 30 years, we’ve been specialists in debtor finance, and we’re now doing other asset finance too.”
According to Mr Langham, the decision to roll out an asset finance product came off the back of growing broker demand.
“This is something that a lot of brokers have asked us to do for a long time, so we are certainly getting a lot more interest from finance brokers for this already,” he said.
“In fact, the biggest increase in loans, as a percentage, would be coming through on our asset finance area. We are helping to fill a gap there and introducing that product to brokers now too, so we’ve certainly seen a lot more interest there.
“We’ll be starting to roll this out in a broader way over the next 12 months, and we’re employing people to help us in that area.”
He concluded: “This is all part of our moves to help more and more businesses with different solutions.
“So, it is exciting times for us,” the Scottish Pacific CEO told The Adviser.
Mr Langham’s comments came as the SME lender jointly launched an “industry first” business funding guide for brokers and other financial advisers to “tackle the access-to-funding crisis” being faced by SMEs.
The Business Funding Guide, created in partnership with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), Kate Carnell (and in consultation with the finance industry), 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, and 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.
The guide, which is available from the Scottish Pacific and ASBFEO websites, covers a range of topics, including:
- Tips for getting business accounts in order
- What a business plan should include
- Finance fitness checks
- How to identify the right type of funding
- Debt options
- Relevant resources