• Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending Launches

    Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending (ACABL), a new invoice discounter and asset based lender, was launched on 26th February 2018 according to a report in CityAM.

    The private bank, Arbuthnot Latham has apparently started the business in order to enter the SME, asset based lending (ABL) market space.

    Arbuthnot Commercial Asset Based Lending

    It appears that the business is set to offer small and medium sized businesses:

    • Confidential invoice discounting
    • Stock, plant & machinery, property and cash flow lending.

    There are of course others that offer similar products already, although it will be interesting to see exactly how they put together their product offering.

    The Name Arbuthnot & The Factoring Industry

    Those that have been around the factoring industry for some time will be familiar with the name Arbuthnot Latham, as the bank owned a stake in what was originally Arbuthnot Factors, which went on to become Barclays Commercial Services, also called BCS, (once Barclays fully acquired the business), back in the late 80's. That was where I first entered the UK business finance market, working for Bexco, which was the trade finance subsidiary of BCS.

    The name Arbuthnot Commercial Finance then popped up again, some years later, as a St Leonards-on-Sea based independent factoring company, that was ultimately acquired by Bibby Financial Services on 31st July 2008.

    The New Venture

    Good luck to the new venture, there is some fierce competition in the marketplace at present as overall ABFA deal numbers have been flat for some time, so a "sharp pencil" is likely to be required in order to compete. It will be interesting to watch this space to see how the new venture develops over the coming months, and to see more of exactly how they construct their product offering, and to what extent that gives rise to a unique offering beyond what the many other UK providers can already offer.

    It feels like there have been so many new entrants into the market in recent years. Many of them have tacked the selective invoice finance route, but it is nice to see a familiar name returning to the market. More updated on the launch will follow.

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