Total sales from businesses supported by invoice finance broke £71bn for Q3 2013, the strongest ever quarterly performance and an increase of 14% on the same period last year.
The latest quarterly figures from the Asset Based Finance Association show that the invoice finance industry is now supporting more than 43,000 businesses. Total client turnover for 2013 to date stands at more than £202bn, with invoice financiers projected to support over £270bn of client turnover for the full year. This would be an increase of more than 6% on 2012’s record total.
At the close of Q3, ABFA members had total advances out to clients of some £17.4bn, up 6% on the same period in 2012. This is only the fifth time the funding balance has been above £17bn, and the industry has achieved this milestone in both of the last quarters.
This contrasts markedly with the wider lending picture. Net lending to SMEs contracted by £1.4bn in Q3 2013, continuing its general trend throughout 2013.
The invoice finance industry continues to support smaller businesses, with more than 21,000 being found in sub-£1m. However, the data shows that invoice finance is being used by larger businesses as well; the biggest increase in client numbers was seen in the £100m+ turnover bracket, up 8% on the previous quarter.
Invoice financiers are most active supporting the services (30%), manufacturing (29%), distribution (24%), transport (7%) and construction (5%) sectors. The industry is reporting particularly strong demand in the services sector from the recruitment industry.