Editorial features examining current issues


Meet Phil Hyde, our new banking specialist

We asked Phil Hyde, our Banking specialist, to talk about his recent career change. What had he wanted to when he was young, for example?  We discovered that his parents had wanted him to become a teacher but he had always had a desire to be a detective in the Police Force as he thought this would match his investigative instincts.  For more fascinating insights to his life story and how he came to join TAEFL, read on  . .  More >>


Now that the letter has been signed and delivered

On the 29th of March 2017 Theresa May triggered Article 50, which means the process for the departure of the UK from the European Union has begun. The implications of this will not be known for some time and for now, our focus will be on the trading the UK will be having with countries throughout the world over the next two years. We are an island race and we rely heavily on foreign trade to prosper – whether that be importing or exporting – and because of that, now would be a great time to assess the risks with trading Internationally. So, what are the main risks with International Trade?   More >>


Reducing costs for innovators with Government aid 

Driving Research and Development (R+D) is evidently valued by government as demonstrated within the Industrial Strategy Green Paper. The government already provides tax credits to companies who spend on research and development to aid innovation within the UK. In the recent budget it was stated that government will put forward initiatives to increase the simplicity around claims and will also improve the awareness of the R&D tax credits scheme.    More >>


We contrast the UK, China and Italy as places to do business

Dominating international news last month was the UK referendum.  As the vote drew nearer, and the outcome became increasingly hard to call, uncertainty began to take its toll on business decisions, constrained by the dire warnings from both sides.  When the Leave campaign edged home by just 4%, uncertainty turned into near-paralysis.  A new PM and Cabinet will set the course over the coming months. But for the SME sector, the impact on business two years, five years and a decade down the line remains uncertain. What can UK SMEs draw upon for a sense of direction?   More >>


Hussien Manji demonstrates his passion for funding the SME

Hussien Manji is entirely comfortable about being described as an economist, and has both a Bachelor’s degree in Business & Economics, and a Master’s in Economics to justify his claim. He brought that academic background to the table at Trade & Export Finance earlier in the year when he was appointed Account Manager. Was his extended period of academic study relevant to a business like TAEFL with its disciplined approach to helping UK companies raise funds and finance orders?  More >>


Leveraging the benefits of a UK exit from Brussels

Britain’s exit from the EU has left many business leaders feeling uncertain about the future. Will we actually leave? Will those wanting to remain manage to change the outcome and keep us in the EU? How will this affect me? Will the country be economically worse or better off? Is my job at risk? Will my business survive? When there is adversity, however, there is also opportunity. On balance, the opportunities available to companies in the UK after the UK leaves the EU would be greater than any potential downside.  More >>


Exploring the contrast between corporate and SME employer

A recent recruit to Trade & Export Finance has made the transition from one of the largest and most respected financial institutions in the UK. The fact that Ben Richards spent twelve years with Barclays Bank might suggest that he felt ‘at home’ in a unit of a large, highly diversified organisation where staff are of necessity focussed on a single area of operations. We met Ben Richards to learn more about the factors which prompted his move to a classic SME whose business is dedicated to supporting other SMEs across the full spectrum of their activities. More >>


Export success requires scrutiny of paper trail

According to a seasoned specialist in the freight forwarding sector, the most difficult stage is getting paid, and there are many reasons why this might not happen. Or, when it does, the amount received is less than had been expected. Rather than fight for the last penny, many businesses will simply accept the situation, if indeed they realise that what they receive is less than the amount due.  More >>


Is invoice trading an improvement on invoice dscounting for SMEs?

In four years of trading, the Hampshire-based Platform Black has carved out a niche in ‘on demand’ invoice funding. As its name would suggest, the UK operation employs an electronic platform to help match funders to the flow of invoices which are considered acceptable for this mode of financing. We examine how this approach to financing SMEs complements that of TAEFL. More >>


Informed Funding creates a level playing field

Informed Funding was launched to increase knowledge and awareness of what is on offer from across the spectrum of funders. This covers everything from crowd-funded equity, through the alternative banking sector and private equity, to peer-to-peer lending and  trade finance institutions. It was established as a channel readily accessible to the smaller business community which has the greatest demand for quality information. They have the most to gain from finance ‘tuned’ to their requirements and are the demographic most often held back by lack of access to those funds. More >>


Is ArchOver re-writing the peer-to-peer game plan?

P2P platforms have been evolving to reflect that changing business environment. One crowdfunder, ArchOver, entered the arena as recently as 2014. It has brought to the table a distinctive solution which overcomes resistance to the risk surrounding borrowers. The company and its business model are worth examining more closely as the platform has proved an important source of funds for UK EXIM Finance Ltd to apply in financing its own clients’ orders. This particular company is a specialist lender within the Trade & Export Finance organisation. More >>

Small Business

How well are the needs of the SME being served?

In this viewpoint on financing the smaller business, we look at the environment in which the SME has operated over the past 70 years and meet BCRS Business Loans, an organisation which maintained its focus on the sector since the end of the Dot Com era.  There’s never been a golden age for financing smaller companies. The smaller the business, the more difficult it has been for entrepreneurs to source the funds or specialist advice they require. It was not until the early ‘70s, for example, that the UK Government formally identified SMEs as having special needs, and established a Small Business Bureau. Up to that point, they were seen simply as businesses that had not grown. More >>

Jana reflects on being recruited to TAEFL

Three recent recruits on joining TAEFL

“I felt part of the team in my first week – it seemed as though I’d been with the company a great deal longer.” That’s the encouraging view of Chloe Millington, one of the three staff members who have joined Trade & Export Finance Ltd in the past few months. Absorbing a steady stream of recruits into the business is potentially a challenge for senior management, not least because TAEFL is a classic SME, with fewer than twenty in the team at present. It operates in a fast-moving financial services environment where there is no room for square pegs trying to fit into round holes.  More >>

Exporting manufactured goods

SMEs can play a part in reaching export target

In its recent report on international trade, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) challenged the UK Government’s attempts to double exports, claiming that the target of £1 trillion a year by 2020, set only three years ago, would not be reached until 2034.  “Our businesses have the potential to meet the target”, it argued. “They need ongoing support and access to finance to help them thrive on the world stage”. While the scene painted by the BCC is necessarily a broad-brush perspective, there are expanding pockets within the business community which have achieved conspicuous success at international trade; aided by specialist organisations which provide alternative funding solutions. More >>

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