By 2016, over half of the UK’s SMEs expect to be exporting their goods and services around the world; that’s an increase of one fifth over the next year. This is great news for Britain’s economy, but serious challenges remain if our SME importers and exporters are to reach their full potential in the global economy.
Banks are still not servicing Britain’s smaller firms properly because they view them as less profitable. The rates that they offer the SME sector are often prohibitive, and their services remain too slow and cumbersome for growing businesses that are seeking to take advantage of new opportunities.
Many SME importers and exporters would benefit from greater financial firepower and expertise. Without this support, thousands of firms are being held back from reaching their full potential in the global economy.
Having faster access to finance would give these businesses the negotiating muscle that they need to seek better deals and rates. It would also boost their purchasing capabilities to enable them to take advantage of growth opportunities, like seasonal peaks in demand.
Research shows that British businesses lose up to £10 billion a year by failing to manage market volatility on their overseas transactions.Learning to manage currency risk and to strategically plan their approach to overseas finance would also help small businesses to increase their profits when exporting or importing goods and to maximise the value of overseas payments. Research shows that British businesses lose up to £10 billion a year by failing to manage market volatility on their overseas transactions. However, to plan in this way, British SMEs require access to the specialist advice, high-level skills and innovation that give firms a competitive edge.
We speak to Roman Itskovich, VP Financial Products at Ebury on how SMEs can access trade finance.
How has Ebury helped SMEs access trade finance?
A trade finance partner, like Ebury, can empower smaller businesses with fast financial backing and the specialist services and expertise that they need to perform, so as to act like major corporates on the world stage.
Ebury is dedicated to the SME sector, and as such, we are able to tailor our products to meet our customers’ exact needs. Many of our services are unique, and this has allowed Ebury to open up new areas of finance for smaller businesses, equipping firms as they look for better ways to manage currency risk, international payments and find more effective forms of trade finance.
We work with a broad range of businesses, from those using trade finance products as a way of managing UK-based supplier relationships to those looking to trade with emerging markets.
For many smaller businesses working with Far East manufacturers, it can be a rich, rewarding and commercially significant relationship. However, standard terms with Far East suppliers can be relatively onerous – as our client found out – 30% deposit on orders, and the balance paid when the goods ship. Working with Ebury has enabled our clients to meet these demands in a simple and swift process, facilitating trade which would otherwise not be possible.
What products do Ebury offer?
Our three main products fit into the following categories, trade finance, currency services and corporate solutions.
The sole aim of our trade finance is to help businesses grow faster by financing trade. We provide business funding for their supply chain by lending to UK buyers and by providing accelerated, non-recourse cash payments to suppliers. Our facility offers businesses up to £1,000,000 for up to 150 days. The majority of Ebury trade finance clients use the facility to finance imports from overseas. With an active presence in many major trading economies worldwide, our knowledge and expertise means we can build bridges between buyer and seller, to create strong, proﬁtable relationships.
We provide access to a multitude of currencies through our currency services which allows businesses to effectively operate in or trade with almost any country globally. We specialise in emerging market currency risk, hedging and analysis, in some of the world’s most illiquid currencies at market leading prices.
Ebury is a global provider of white label solutions to Money Services Businesses, Corporate Service Providers, Banks and other financial institutions. We provide bespoke solutions enabling businesses to grow their revenue by leveraging our capabilities as well as increase our customer’s client retention by offering services outside of their remit. Our platform provides access to deliverable foreign currency exchange solutions, enhancing the services provided to existing customers, with no additional operational and compliance risk, all within an FCA regulated environment.
Written by Roman Itskovich, VP Financial Products, Ebury