Ger Blake, Director, DSB, offers some insights on non-bank sources of finance that you might consider.
Recent statistics from the Central Bank confirm that the pillar banks are slowly improving the level of credit being made available to SMEs. The issue is that the SME lending market continues to be very concentrated, with Bank of Ireland and AIB the two key players, although Ulster Bank and KBC are starting to re-emerge as genuine competition. Access to credit remains a key concern for
Aside from the banks, there are many other ways to seek to access credit and a plethora of options have emerged in recent times to fill the void left by the pillar banks, along with some other well-established sources of finance that have become more widely used due to the inactive banking market in Ireland since 2009.
A typical SME may need credit for a variety of reasons (be it business growth or expansion, asset leasing or simply working capital). The purpose of the capital required will determine your options and who you can approach for support. Funding support can be in the form of debt or equity and a thorough analysis of your needs should be undertaken to decide on the most appropriate for you.
The following is a sample of some alternative non-bank sources that you could consider:
Each of the above options has active funders in the market right now, and each has different lending criteria and terms and conditions. Some important considerations to bear in mind, regardless of who you approach, are:
Ger Blake, FCCA, is a Director at DSB with over 23 years’ experience specialising in business advisory and corporate turnaround. He has worked with many SME clients in the retail and hardware sectors.
This Business Support article featured in the July/August 2017 edition of The Hardware Journal.