One-on-one: The importance of a single point of contact

The pace of technological innovation and advancement is influencing almost all aspects of how we live our lives. At a personal level, it is changing basic pursuits such as how we listen to music and watch our favourite TV shows and at a professional level, everything from how we communicate with colleagues to the management of corporate finances. 

However, despite our ever deeper assimilation with technology, when it comes to managing key relationships, it is human connection that most people still value above all else. In few contexts is this truer, than with matters of finance. 

In this piece, we look at the reasons why customers value a single point of contact (SPOC) with finance providers, and how such relationships are mutually advantageous over the alternatives.

Trust and Dependability

We’ll start with what is the most powerful argument for a SPOC before we get into the more practical benefits; trust and dependability. 

The foundation of any successful relationship is trust, and the greater the trust, the more rewarding the relationship. Trust though, takes time to embed. It requires multiple liaisons where contributing parties have endeavoured to be honest, transparent and good-natured. It is simply not possible to achieve when a customer speaks to a different person each time they contact a company.

Once a healthy rapport is cultivated between two parties, the desire to do the right thing by each other takes on an extra dimension. Levels of disclosure, goodwill and patience are afforded in ways that wouldn’t when the relationship is new and purely transactional. But it’s not just that the relationship becomes ones that it more fruitful, it’s also one that both parties develop a keenness to maintain. 

In short, a SPOC creates a relationship that is more productive and longer-lasting.


Businesses are time-consuming beasts. Each day brings different demands and meeting them all requires as few distractions and delays as possible. The lack of a SPOC means a call to a finance provider can involve running a lengthy gauntlet of hold music, number options, chatbots, transfers and message boxes, with no guarantee you’ll actually get to speak to someone familiar with your case.

The digital revolution has also meant that many finance providers now operate exclusively in the Cloud. That’s all well and good, but what happens when there’s an issue that needs to be sorted now and back and forth emails just won’t cut it? 

In both of these circumstances, the only viable alternative is a SPOC. A number you can ring, where a familiar voice answers belonging to a person who immediately accesses your account and begins resolving the issue. It’s a function that no technology can outdo.


Ultimately, this is what anything in business boils down to. If people are doing something or want to do something a certain way, it’s usually because there’s some kind of financial incentive there. 

With a SPOC, that cost is most clearly recouped in the time saved getting hold of a trusted individual who knows your case. An hour listening to hold music and repeating yourself to chatbots, is an hour not spent on revenue generating activity.

However, the financial argument for a SPOC doesn’t just hinge purely on time-saving. Conversations with a trusted contact can lead to all kinds of outcomes that an email exchange or conversation with a random individual never could. Through engaging dialogue with a known SPOC, opportunities and risks are explored which often lead to advantageous diversifications of an account.

Final thought

Technology is improving the way we do business. It’s making processes faster, created new channels of communication, and has opened up entirely new ways of exercising commerce. Behind the binary code, motherboards and servers though, there is often a person who just wants to speak to another person. The provision of a SPOC, therefore, is a powerful one. It is a provision that engenders trust in a brand, saves precious time and presents compelling financial possibilities. 

Credit where it’s due:Why SMEs turn to Credit Asset Management

For most businesses, realising their goals and ambitions depends on securing capital for investment at critical points in their journey. Machinery, premises, software, transport, the list of typical assets is long, and a company’s success can hinge on acquiring just one. 

Unfortunately, banks – the first port of call for many hopeful business owners – are far from a guaranteed source of the credit needed to make the big purchases. As decision-making tends to rely more on computer algorithms, should these algorithms glean insufficient criteria points – combined with longer decision making cycles and too much security – denial is abrupt and rarely negotiable. 

Credit Asset Management works differently. Applications are scrutinised by real people who look for the story behind the application and can see the value in a customer that a set of computer protocols simply can’t. Moreover, credit asset don’t just work to release credit to a customer, they build relationships that run much deeper. As well as finding ways to release credit, they build repayment plans aligned to the customer’s business model to ensure that maximum value for money is achieved from investments.

The beauty of Credit Asset and the people-focused approach is understanding the value of assets and the impact these have on business; the impact it can have to help cashflow and profitability, and the delivery of greater efficiency via the new asset. We understand exactly what that asset is worth, both its intrinsic value but also its collateral value, using our asset knowledge to loan it. 

Indeed, many SMEs who turns to credit asset management , having been frustrated by a  bank, often come to view the rejection as something of a blessing in disguise. Not only are rates competitive, repayment plans bespoke, but they acquire a business relationship that helps them achieve in ways they didn’t think possible. 

Here, we look at two businesses who came to CAML seeking capital and received much more than just a transfer of funds. For various reasons, we have had to anonymise both companies. 

Digital Signage Company

This company sold and hired out LED signage to a variety of different customers, both private and commercial. They had decided they wanted to increase their operations to provide large-scale signage to professional sports teams which could be used either as scoreboards or for advertising. 

The company was successful in agreeing a contract with a Premier League football club. CAML provided a back to back lease agreement to the customer which allowed them to deliver their product and services to the Premier League club in a seamless fashion.

Speaking of their experience with CAML, the company’s CEO said, “The deal with the Premier League club was a milestone for our company. It represented our biggest commercial achievement so it was vital that everything went smoothly, or else it could have been our last. The back to back lease agreement provided us both the signage we wanted and a lump sum to invest in other hardware. We now have one happy Premier League client on our books and CAML are a major reason for this.”

Compressed Gases Provider

A supplier of cellar gas to the pub industry, this company sought funding for important hydraulic testing equipment. The customer had already identified the equipment and supplier they wanted to use, the sticking point being that the supplier was based overseas.

To initially secure the purchase, CAML provided the customer with a short term loan facility, giving freedom and flexibility to negotiate as a cash buyer, to allow them to acquire and import the equipment. In order to spread the cost for manegablel amount and cashflow, So that the company could invest in other areas of the business following the acquisition of the testing equipment, CAML then offered the customer a Sale & Leaseback facility which allowed them to sell the imported equipment back to CAML and lease it over a longer term, enabled them to spread the cost for cashflow.

The company’s founder said, “Initially, we were so relieved that CAML were able to provide us with the short-term loan to buy the equipment. It is a critical asset to a business like ours. However, it was the Sale & Leaseback facility that really amazed us. Not only did we now have vital equipment that many of our prospective clients enquire about, able to spread costs over the term to suit our budget, which we could use to invest in other areas of the business. It’s far from an exaggeration to say that CAML have been a major reason for our subsequent growth.”

The Growth of asset-based lending in the UK

An observable trend over the course of 2018 was a rise in asset-based lending where lenders provide capital with a client company’s assets taken as security, rather than debt. 

According to the latest figures from UK Finance, the trade association for the UK finance and banking industry, during Q2 2018 lending against assets other than invoices totalled £4.3bn, an increase of 5.6% compared with Q2 2017. Driving demand has been a spike in lending against stock, up 18% year-on-year. 

Conversely, lending against debt/invoices dipped to £17bn from £17.7bn during Q2 2017.

At a macro-level, the picture is one of peaks and troughs in advances with some consistent micro-level increases. All advances made to client companies, including both invoice/debt and asset-based, amounted to £21.4bn at the end of Q2 2018, a year-on-year fall of 1.9%. However, by the end of Q3 2018, the figure stood at £22.6bn, a 2% increase on Q3 2017.

At a more specific level, there was a rise of 1.1% in the total number of finance clients with over 40,400 companies receiving funding. Also up was the number of businesses with a turnover exceeding £10m. A 7% rise on 2017 meaning there are now over 5,000 such companies. 

Stephen Pegge, Managing Director, Head of Commercial Finance, at UK Finance, said: “It is encouraging to see steady growth in client numbers for the second consecutive quarter, with over 40,000 businesses receiving funds through invoice finance and asset-based lending.

“This is being driven partly by an increase in the number of larger businesses opting for this form of finance. We are also seeing the number of smaller clients and the funding provided to them remain steady, and the industry has the capacity and expertise to provide even more financing to these businesses in future.”

Encouragement to Reinvest Up Fivefold

If you’ve pored over this year’s Budget, you probably already know the annual investment allowance will be raising from £200,000 to £1 million for a temporary term of two years in January 2019.

This should be welcomed as a huge boost to businesses which can be more confident to invest in the equipment and infrastructure they need, to remain competitive and relevant within their market sector.

This is a great move to promote reinvestment within SMEs which can use the allowance to purchase plant and equipment and then write off 100% against taxable profits. Purchases which qualify can cover anything from tools, machinery and tech hardware as well as some software. Whilst potentially challenging economic times often make businesses feel cautious to reinvest, it’s actually a great time to get ahead of equally nervous competitors who may make the mistake of stalling their progress.

The recent increase is intended to encourage businesses to invest in their own success pre-Brexit and is something that the Chamber of Commerce has requested for some time. There has been a recent decline in investment, thought to be driven by uncertainty concerning the economy, but businesses who are sensible will jump on this opportunity in order to thrive within a potentially challenging economic landscape. The decision should come as particularly welcome news for businesses which need a mass reinvestment in costly new equipment or infrastructure and have been holding out. If ever there was a sensible time to do it, it’s now.

Brexit, but also the tech evolution, will potentially bring about a change in how some businesses operate and, if any are thinking of diversifying or slightly altering their value proposition, now is definitely the time to look more deeply into their options and get their ducks in a row regarding any expenditure covered by the allowance.

Since this is only for an initial two-year period, businesses should be thinking strategically about what it makes sense to purchase now, but also what they may need longer-term to future proof their business before the temporary allowance is reduced.

As with any silver lining, there are clouds to look out for and, in this case, that’s simply making sure that any purchases and relevant accounting periods fit with the two-year timeframe. Allowances on purchases which span, but don’t fit entirely within the period, will be calculated on a percentage basis, so business will need to keep their eye on the ball to benefit as much as possible to take advantage of the optimal tax allowances.

Budget breakdown

Everything you needed to know about this month’s budget and the impact it can have on UK business. Here’s an overview that will give you the key takeaways in under three minutes.

We are recruiting

Our experienced teams offer friendly, professional and straightforward advice, an outstanding service and building lasting relationships.

If you have a flexible and proactive attitude to working, are adaptable and open to new challenges, we could have an opportunity for you.

  1. We are seeking a Customer Services Administrator who will be responsible for:
  2. First point of contact for external calls
    All in life queries and amendments
    Issuing letters
    Collating all documentation and scanning
    Maintain relationships with internal and externals customers
    Carry out credit searches on occasion
    Checking of documentation and systems in accordance to internal guidelines

Experience required:
Good verbal and written communication skills
Ability to multitask, prioritise and manage time effectively
MS Word, excel and outlook
Be a team player with the ability to work independently

Please send your CV to:

We are Moving!

We are pleased to announce that we are expanding and moving to accommodate our growth. As a result, we will close our office from noon on Thursday, 11th May, to begin our move and will re-open at the new office on Friday 12th May at 8:30 am. Regrettably, we will be unavailable during this time. We appreciate that this may cause a slight delay to our normal service and apologise for any inconvenience caused.