First Choice have several agency agreements with alternative finance providers which can provide various funding products to businesses.
- Leasing , Asset Finance & Hire Purchase
- Invoice/Trade Finance :
- Invoice Discounting (Whole of debtors book / Single debtor / Single Invoice i.e. floating charge with another Bank not an issue)
- Payments to suppliers for discounts
- Raise finance on Purchase Orders/ Contracts.
- Asset Based loans > €500k
- Business loans €25- €50k
Products Coming Soon:
- Secured Term Loans < €500k
- Unsecured Term Loans
- In recent years a number of alternative finance providers have come to the Irish market to offer competitive options to the pillar banks, over time they have extended their product ranges to suit growing demands and the general improvement in the business economy.
- Fast “no” or reasonably timed “yes” – Banks are being placed under more and more regulatory requirements and are understaffed to service current business needs. In some instances this can lead to a very drawn out process that may not deliver a result.
- Our experience of alternative finance providers has been that they know who they want to lend to in a short space of time once they have the relevant information to make an informed decision.
- Time to securing finance from application, approval and drawdown can be much faster, allowing your business to grow as necessary or seize an opportunity that presents itself.
- Some providers have access to SBCI (Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland) subsidised funding for certain sectors / assets which make them as cheap and sometimes cheaper than Bank funding. More on SBCI can be found here
- Alterative lenders can be less regimented in terms of following policy or issues that can result in Bank declines
- Call us to discuss your business and requirements, this will give us an idea for the type of product/service suitable and the possibility of securing finance
- Typical businesses will be established > 1 year with a first set of Financial Statements completed for analysis.
- A small application fee may be required depending on the type of funding sought
- We review the information and put together an application for review by a number of our secondary finance providers.
- We will secure approvals if possible and clarify the most suitable product for you based on your requirements
- We can provide guidance in a transparent manner to ensure you comply with the requirements to draw funds
- All our staff are appropriately qualified and experienced in the Banking and Finance Industry
- Professional service
- We will do the leg work to allow you to concentrate on managing your business
- We are external credit assessors for a number of providers such as the Credit Review Office and Microfinance Ireland and we hold a senior credit assessor role with the Credit Review Office. We understand policies, assessment and structures.
- We provide a full range of other financial services (Mortgages, Savings & Investments, Deposits, Life & Serious Illness Protection, Retirement Planning, Debt Management, Personal Insolvency, Health Insurance) in order to meet other personal and business needs
- If you are not finance ready now, we will set out a strategy for you to ensure you are finance ready in the near future
- Manage your current account
- Assessors look at current accounts to see the flow of money coming through your account
- “Unpaids” such as bounced direct debits / cheques/ standing orders etc. show that a business is under pressure
- Ensure overdraft limits (if any) are not exceeded
- Don’t wait until the deadline to have your financial statements completed – if you have had a good year’s trade, show the story. Accounts from 18 months ago don’t give an accurate picture to credit assessors to give them comfort of your performance in approving funding
- Check your credit history for you or your company on www.icb.ie – this shows what lenders can see. If you have credit issues this is not the end of the world, show that you are dealing with the position and try to secure arrangements with regards to same. (Evidence and documentation is key here)
- Ensure you are tax compliant – Revenue arrears are not uncommon and again once you are in an arrangement and complying, you can secure tax clearance. Finance providers sometimes require your tax clearance number to check your status on ROS.ie (as printed certificates are no longer provided)
- Manage your debtors and creditors – Outside of good practice trade finance credit assessments require evidence of how well you’re managing your cashflow. Paying your suppliers on time and collecting your receipts on time is key. Cashflow is King. Overdue Creditors & debtors can be an issue
Invoice discounting is a form of short-term borrowing often used to improve a company’s working capital and cash flow position. Invoice discounting allows a business to draw money against its sales invoices before the customer has actually paid. They pay an annual fee for this service and an interest rate for the credit provided. AIB & BOI only really look at SMEs with turnover of €500k+ for this service. Alternative providers work with smaller SMEs with growth potential
Asset finance is a sustainable form of funding that can enable a business to purchase or refinance capital equipment such as commercial vehicles, print machinery or construction and plant, spreading the cost over an agreed period of time. This funding is normally done by way of a lease agreement over the depreciated life of the asset (3-7 years typically) at an interest rate.
Unlike many European countries, Ireland did not have a state development bank to sustain funding to businesses throughout the financial crisis. During Ireland’s exit from the EU/IMF programme in late 2013, the Taoiseach and Chancellor Merkel agreed that the German promotional bank Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) would help finance the Irish SME sector. It was this European agreement that led to the creation of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI), ensuring that in future, Irish businesses have access to long-term, patient funding.
The Department of Finance and the National Treasury Management Agency worked throughout 2014 to create the necessary mechanisms to establish the SBCI. Building on the initial funding offer from the KfW, the project team added funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, a new fund to which the assets of the National Pensions Reserve Fund were transferred.
The Government approved this approach and legislation enabling the establishment of the SBCI was passed by the Oireachtas in July 2014.
The SBCI was formally launched by the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, TD on 31st October 2014, in conjunction with Minister Howlin, TD, the German Minister for Finance, Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble , President Werner Hoyer of the EIB and Dr Ulrich Schröder of the KfW.