Receivables Factoring | 2022 Trade Finance Global Guide

TFG Receivables Financing Guide

Trade Finance Global / Finance Products / Receivables Factoring | 2022 Trade Finance Global Guide

Receivables Factoring | 2022 Trade Finance Global Guide

What is receivables factoring?

Receivables financing (or accounts receivable finance) is a finance arrangement in which a company uses finance flowing in (such as from overdue invoices) to go into an asset financing arrangement. The word ‘receivables’ is often spoken about in corporates or commodity trading houses, but simply put, it addresses finance flowing to a company – through debts owed or the outstanding invoices.

Receivables Factoring - Overview

In relation to receivables factoring or receivables finance in a company structure, a ‘receivable’ is usually the cash that would flow into the company, or it’s the debts owed.

These are known as future receivables; the total sum owed to that company company.

As an example, if there is a financing structure put in place for an oil cargo company, then the receivables are the sale of the underlying oil or commodity, i.e., the sale proceeds or cash in return for the product. The end customers who owe the money to the oil cargo company are traders or buyers.

Why is receivables factoring important?

Companies might want to access some form of receivables finance facility to service working capital or cash flow gaps. Often larger corporates or end customers delay payments and have long payment terms.

When a business sends out an invoice or is owed money, it may take many months for this to flow into the company due to the time provided to pay or ‘credit terms’. The credit terms provided may be due to the length of time being industry standard or the counterpart being very strong and so demanding long payment days. In the SME UK market, one may see this with large supermarkets who typically demand 90 or 120 day payment terms.

What industries are receivables factoring most popular in?
  • Oil
  • Metal
  • Power
  • Manufacturing
  • Transport
  • Textiles
  • Machinery
  • Technology
How does receivables factoring work?

For a business to operate efficiently, cash flow is key. Thus, many companies will discount invoices or receivables when they are sent out.

Operationally this will look and feel a lot like invoice discounting or factoring. When an invoice is sent out, the funder will factor or discount the invoice and provide a percentage of the value owed in the invoice up front to the company. By discounting a portion of this ‘receivable’, the company is able to grow.

Invoice factoring or discounting is one type of receivables finance. There are others used within structured transactions. However, when it comes to receivables factoring, invoices are essentially the discounted product.

What is the difference between receivables factoring and discounting?

Receivables factoring is a term used interchangeably with invoice factoring. In effect, it is when the whole ledger of invoices or debts are factored. Receivables or invoice discounting will conversely mean that individual invoices are discounted and this may be selective invoices or customers of a company; not the whole book.

Types of receivables factoring
  • Cash flow from the business or lending
  • Invoice finance
  • Invoice discounting
  • Export factoring
  • Structured finance
Receivables factoring: What are the requirements?

Companies looking for receivables factoring are generally seen and reviewed (in terms of eligibility) on a case by case basis. Generally, a financier would ask for the following in an application:

  • Audited financial statements
  • Full business plans
  • Financial forecasts
  • Credit reports
  • Details and references of the directors
  • Information on assets and liabilities
Benefits of receivables factoring

Receivables factoring can reduce working capital constraints. Many companies which have small overdraft facilities or are funded through venture capital or equity investment might want to free up cash to fund the day-to-day operations of the business, and given the uncertainty around receiving payments, receivables factoring can ease cash flow constraints and ensure guaranteed payment.

Featured Insights

FCI’s Peter Mulroy on Turkey’s trade and factoring prosperity VIDEO | FCI’s Peter Mulroy on Turkey’s trade and factoring prosperity At the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) Trade Facilitation Program Forum in Istanbul, Turkey, TFG spoke with Peter Mulroy, secretary general of FCI.
Launched: UK Trade & Export Finance Guide TFG partners with UKEF and DIT to create a trade and export finance guide Trade Finance Global has partnered with UKEF, the UK government’s export credit agency, and DIT to produce the UK Trade & Export Finance Guide.
World of Open Account (WOA) cofounders on the changing face of receivables finance World of Open Account (WOA) cofounders on the changing face of receivables finance TFG’s Annie Kovacevic sat down with World of Open Account (WOA) cofounders John Brehcist and Erik Timmermans. 
TFG Weekly Trade Briefing TFG Weekly Trade Briefing, 1st August 2022 Your Monday coffee briefing from TFG: New from Trade Finance Talks – SME trade finance: flying under the radar
Trade loans and secondary trading: BAFT v LMA Trade loans and secondary trading: BAFT v LMA Trade loans are used to finance transactions involving import or export trading and reflecting different stages in the commodity trade cycle, from pre-export financing to borrowing base facilities.

All trade loans, however, are used to finance imports, exports, or other trading transactions.

Is the time ripe for the formation of a global receivable exchange Is the time ripe for the formation of a global receivable exchange? In 2019, FCI formed a working group called “Receivables as an Investable Asset Class” (RIAC). It was comprised of FCI members and companies who operate as funds supporting the
TFG’s Mark Abrams featuring on the Trade Finance Distribution Initiative (TFDi) VIDEO: TFG’s Mark Abrams featuring on the Trade Finance Distribution Initiative (TFDi) The Trade Finance Distribution Initiative (TFDi) recently heard from Trade Finance Global’s (TFG) MD, Global Head of Trade & Receivables Finance, Mark Abrams.
Market finder featured image Trade Finance Global launches international trade finance series with Google Trade Finance Global have partnered with Google (Market Finder) to launch a comprehensive trade finance series of guides.
Interest in commodity finance on the rise Interest in commodity finance on the rise This article is co-authored by Marcus Lankford and Mark Abrams. In December 2021, Bloomberg reported that several banks including BNP Paribas SA, Societe Generale SA, and ABN Amro have restricted financing commodity transactions following defaults linked to the pandemic and multiple frauds.

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About the Author

Nikhil Patel is a journalist at Trade Finance Global, covering commodity finance markets, trade technology, and cash / treasury management.

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