Gareth Pritchard
Gareth Pritchard
Head of Invoice Finance
Broker Interview

Broker interview: Malcolm King, Finpoint Limited

January 7, 2021 | 6 minutes

Tell us a bit about who you are, your business and your background

I’m a Business Finance Specialist at Finpoint Limited, the UK’s leading independent broker. I began my finance career with HSBC in 1998 and have most recently worked with the banks Adam & Company and Hampden & Co, as well as a charity helping to organise The World’s Big Sleep Out back in Dec 19. I am based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

What’s the secret to your success?

I have a passion for working closely with clients to understand their needs and provide the right solutions to their finance requirements, no matter how complex.

Finpoint offers a fantastic choice for all businesses seeking finance, with access to the UK’s largest panel of lenders. Finpoint is an FCA regulated online service trusted by UK Business Finance, Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and many regional Growth Hubs.

Business owners are able to check their eligibility across the whole of the market with ease. Digital tools guide users of the service at every step of the way.

As exclusive delivery partner for UK Finance — the voice for 250 UK banks and finance firms — we are the only platform featuring traditional banks and alternative business lenders, including Satago.

What are your predictions for the finance landscape in 2021?

It is going to be another difficult year for UK business. With Coronavirus restrictions continuing and new trading conditions in place following the UK’s departure from the EU, access to financial and general business support is going to be a key need for businesses.

The extension to the Government backed CBILS and Bounce Back Loan schemes to 31 March is helpful, though what further support will be available after this date is currently unknown. Businesses will need to look at all finance routes available.

What are the most important characteristics you look for in an invoice finance provider?

A friendly, knowledgeable team who can offer swift decisions and act quickly for clients. The provider should be able to offer flexibility in commitment terms and have a competitive fee structure.

What do you like about Satago?

The ability to speak with a dedicated partner who works with us to understand and satisfy customers borrowing requirements.

What are the main issues you face with placing invoice finance clients?

Key for the invoice finance provider is building trust with their client. Also ensuring that the customer is aware of the flexibility and uniqueness of the product, to release valuable cash tied up in their debtor/sales ledger.

What are the biggest challenges you see for small businesses in the coming months?

Managing cashflow and arranging finance. Particularly for businesses who have already taken advantage of the Government loan schemes and grants available, or who are not eligible for them. This is a particular problem for new businesses starting their journey in 2020. Restrictions on cashflow will arise where customers payment terms move from the standard 30/60/90 days.

What challenges do you see in the business finance market and what products will be the most important?

2020 was a terrible year for a lot of businesses, with the impact of COVID hitting all industries in the UK and beyond. Lenders will need to recognise this when they look at the trading history for a business and be able to take a positive view on the future.

The challenge for a business will be to show how well it was trading pre-COVID, and how it will trade post-COVID. I would suggest revising business plans to fit the new environment, revising cash-flow projections and applying for finance.

Outside of the Government schemes, products that provide quick and easy access to help cashflow will be key. 2021 will be a good year for invoice finance providers to shout about all the benefits this type of finance provides

When you’re not helping businesses out with their finance, how do you like to spend your free time?

Free time? With two young boys at home there is not too much of that! I enjoy getting out walking on the local hills, being a local Scout Leader and minis rugby coach, being on the board of a charity focused on improving physical activity in Scotland and attempting to play guitar!

And, finally, any New Year’s Resolutions?

Getting a COVID vaccine! Let’s hope the New Year, however it may look now, brings positivity and happiness back for all.

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