News Article

Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance Expands

Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, currently based in Telford’s Stafford Park Industrial Estate, is set to move to new premises to help the company grow.

Originally established by Steve Smith and Graham Wildgoose as Sygnet Invoice Finance in the early 1990s, the business is now part of the much bigger Hitachi Capital Group.

It employs 60 people and lends around £65 million.

The business is planning a £1.5 million investment in new premises, the location of which is currently being kept under wraps, and an expansion of the workforce to around 120.

The move will also see Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance look to treble the amount of money it lends.

“We are trebling the office size, with a view to doubling staff numbers and trebling the size of the business over the next three to four years,” said Mr Smith, Managing Director.

“We are part of a fantastic group with a great brand name, and it’s by being part of that we have become trusted by smaller businesses. We are spending record amounts on marketing, we have a great product and a great team so it’s now about getting businesses to know about us.”

The invoice finance business was sold to London Scottish Bank in 1999, when it was based in Newport, then moved on again to Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance in the midst of the credit crunch in 2008, when its then-owner was looking to offload certain assets.

Since 1999 it has grown its client base from 75 to around 650, and they enjoy a collective turnover worth around £1 billion.

“In the credit crunch our book went down to £20 million, so we have gone from there to £65 million in terms of funds out,” Mr Smith added.

“We never had any cash restrictions though, whereas the banks had massive restrictions.

“During that 12 to 18 month period client turnover went down by about 20 to 25 per cent, and liquidations increased by a similar figure, so our client base was dropping.

“I think companies are still struggling to get overdrafts and bank loans, and are looking at alternatives, and don’t realise that invoice finance is quite competitive against the cost of an overdraft.

“A lot are using business credit cards that are very expensive for small loans, or taking personal loans that are also expensive.”

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