Please tell us about the nature of your business?
Global Trade Finance Group was established three years ago. We provide consulting advice to importing and exporting businesses, including cash flow management, supplier/buyer trading terms and debtor financing. Our clients range from small to very large businesses.
What are the biggest issues your clients are facing in the current climate?
I think the biggest issue business owners are facing today is the age-old problem of cashflow. Banks don’t lend unless they have bricks and mortar security and we come across a lot of clients that have a lack of knowledge of what other options are available to them.
How has this changed in the last two years?
In the past couple of years, we have seen a distinct tightening of lending practices, a trend that started after the GFC. The banks began to pull back, requiring more security and implementing tougher rules around lending. We have noticed it has become increasingly difficult to access funding since then – and the Banking Royal Commission has obviously impacted on this further.
Research from the RBA shows small to medium sized businesses are completely under financed as far as cashflow is concerned. Again, our job is to assist them with the best ways to access capital for their business.
How do you see this changing in the next two years?
There is a real lack of Government support in this country for our import / export business compared to other countries, particularly around their access to finance. I believe there is a big opportunity for the trade and invoice finance sectors to grow and support the import / export market.
What problems has Apricity solved for your clients?
A good example is a client of ours on the Sunshine Coast who was importing and exporting to Papua New Guinea. They had a unique cash flow issue and their bank felt they were high risk and wouldn’t lend. Their bank Relationship Manager had suggested an overdraft instead (something the client did not want). After speaking with me I quickly saw that the business was dealing with some large listed companies as debtors – an ideal scenario to use invoice finance. Apricity provided an invoice finance facility quickly that enabled the business to grow and expand.
What do you like most about Apricity?
I was approached by Simon Walker at Apricity a few years ago, we have built a strong relationship and I particularly like the genuine approach he, and the rest of the team at Apricity have. Apricity has helped many of my clients unlock the cash tied up in their unpaid invoices so they can focus on doing business.