Credit Asset – helping SMEs on their growth journey

A curious trend amongst many businesses today, is an increasing apparent contentment with constancy over growth. For some, having built their business to a manageable size, the perceived pressures of growth are deemed “not worth it” for how it may impact on private lives. For others, current economic uncertainty deters against possible expansion, and others still, the prospect of taking on debt is one reasoned to be just too laden with risk. 

Of course, there are other reasons businesses are happy to maintain the status quo but whatever the reasons are, if too many abandon growth ventures, potential goes unrealised. Moreover, the general economic knock-on effect for the country is far from ideal. 

Key to tackling this recalcitrance to growth is a proactiveness amongst lenders to change the perception of debt as a concept and help businesses see that lending products consist of much more than just a transfer of interest-affixed capital. They can do this in a number of ways…

Demonstrate how debt can be less expensive than equity investment

Investing equity invariably necessitates a temporary relinquishment of part of the business and forgoing current and future value to satisfy the longer-term need. The full cost of equity investment is often unclear at the point of purchase and the process more complex.

A competent lender, however, clarifies cost of debt at the point of purchase and should these costs be manageable for your business, the advantage of not having to surrender control of part of the company can be significant.

Business consultation and advice appended to capital transfer

Specialist lenders, such as credit asset, in particular, usually take a collaborative approach to repayments. They know that full recovery of funds hinge on the success of business ventures and, such is the niche space they operate in, they are also especially keen to acquire repeat custom. 

To achieve both, transfer of capital is typically accompanied by expert consultation for purchases, strategy and repayment options. In essence, this means that businesses get a ‘2-for-1’; capital with which to purchase inventory and consultation that would otherwise command hefty day rates.

Improve financial discipline and credit score

Well managed debt and the making of regular, on-time payments, increases a business’ credit score. The upshot of a better credit score is a rise in overall spending limit and lower future interest rates, both of which allow business leaders to allocate their financial resources more efficiently. Though this alone is not a reason for businesses to take on debt, it is certainly a positive consequence.

Debt is not always the best option for financing a business venture or change in direction, and it would be disingenuous to say that it is. However, if debt is the avenue to be explored, and it is approached in the right way, it can be a powerful strategic tool for growth and can be a cheaper financing option than other alternatives.  In today’s competitive environment, it is always prudent to research sources of finance and choose one that aligns most closely with your needs.

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. 

A chip off the old block: funding in the spotlight

A leading UK family-owned wood processing and recycling company in the North of England approached CAML for support in meeting their ambitious plans for expansion. The business had built an enviable reputation within their sector, supplying wood chip products to national retailers over a period spanning more than 40 years. 

Their services had focused on providing recycled wood materials for the panel board industry and for use in animal bedding. However, they recently spotted an opportunity to supply a major, multi-national energy supplier with a specialist wood product for use in their biomass plant. In order to process waste wood and convert it into the specific type of woodchip the biomass plant used, the wood recycling company needed to acquire an industrial Wood Chip Boiler.

CAML chip in

In order to obtain the Wood Chip Boiler, the wood recycling company needed a financial injection of several hundred thousand pounds. Taking the view that this  type of  transaction should be deemed a ‘hard asset’ lend and thus providing good collateral value, CAML were able to take comfort in this crucial factor when making their decision to approve the lease. 

After a short consultation period, the lease was arranged with a bespoke repayment plan agreed over a 36-month period to include the ancillary equipment being purchased. In addition the supplier was paid using CAML’s Payment Before Delivery solution. The wood recycling company were very much involved in the consultation, and the deposit and monthly repayments were designed to ensure business operations could continue to run smoothly during the duration of the lease. 

A new, CAML-powered business dimension

With the acquisition and installation of the Wood Chip Boiler complete, the wood recycling company emerged as a freshly diverse entity. Still supplying their existing customers with high-quality recycled wood products, they now provide one of the world’s leading energy companies with the unique wood-based fuel required to power their biomass plant. 

Their story is one which encapsulates what CAML is all about. Speaking to companies as equals, exploring how we can support them in their growth journey, and providing capital attached to bespoke repayment plans to help them realise goals and ambitions. 

If you have projects that require structuring expertise and input from a credit team with an appetite to help, please call 0203 795 2680 to speak to one of our specialists today. 

Lending spotlight: sale and leaseback

For a whole host of reasons, we know traditional loans aren’t always an option. So when you’re working with an ambitious organisation with a sound business plan, it’s important to know that alternatives are available.   

A supplier of cellar gas to the pub industry sought to invest in new equipment that would support current operations but also release opportunities in other areas of the organisation. However, with the identified supplier being based overseas a funding challenge was posed.  

Sale. Leaseback. Invest. Grow.

In order to secure the purchase, CAML was able to provide a short-term loan facility, allowing freedom and flexibility to negotiate as a cash buyer, acquire and import the equipment. 

In order to then spread the cost into manageable payments and to support cashflow, CAML went on to offer the customer a Sale and Leaseback facility. Allowing them to sell the imported equipment  to CAML and lease it back over a much longer term, which reflected the asset’s predicted lifecycle and payments were supported by projected cashflows.  

Compressed Gases Provider

Lending spotlight: Sale and Leaseback 

“Initially, we were so relieved 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 this has been a major reason for our subsequent growth.”
Founder of organisation

For more information on our lending options please click here or call 0203 795 2680 to speak to one of our specialists today. 

Master Lease: Funding in the spotlight

Funding spotlight: Solutions for Suppliers – Master Lease

The Credit Asset Management team was approached by a supporting broker who had a key supplier with a large, long-term project which was potentially going to cause them cashflow constraints on installation. 

The supplier’s client was an international logistics company with a number of sites across the UK and sought funding to undertake a security upgrade on entry and surveillance equipment across its various locations in the UK. 

Large scale technology upgrades are notoriously complicated and can take time to deliver and fully implement. Add in multiple suppliers and without warning such projects can often present a challenge when managing payments to third parties and business cashflow. 

The conundrum for the supplier was how to deliver on one of its largest contracts without it causing a detrimental impact on the rest of its business. 

While seen as a major upgrade for the company, the installation of equipment was scheduled to take place at intervals over a 12-month period. In order to satisfy the agility of the company and help it meet its roadmap for upgrade, CAML provided the customer with a million-pound Master Lease facility for utilisation over one year.

The broker had dealt with the supplier for a number of years, and the logistics company was able to show a strong operating model, with solid financial performance and a perfect repayment history on previous funding facilities. 

A Master Lease facility allowed the customer to draw down the required amount for each site when appropriate. This ensured that they were able to manage payments to the supplier when they were satisfied the assets were in order. Crucially, it also allowed the equipment supplier to be paid at regular intervals during the roll out of works, as opposed to having to wait for the final installation to take place before receiving full payment. 

The client said: “The master lease was a great option to support us with this major upgrade project. It provided us with one master set of terms for the whole project, enabled us to manage the entire end-to-end process alongside our upgrade path, while also smoothing over cash flow.”

Give CAML a call today to see if a Master Lease could help either your suppliers or clients 

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.”

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.