What financial products does Ultimate Finance specialise in?
Ultimate Finance is a specialist asset-based lender that provides a wide range of flexible funding solutions to support the ambitions of UK businesses. We offer Working Capital finance (Invoice Finance and specialist facilities for Construction, Recruitment and Trade), Asset Finance, Bridging Finance and Structured Finance, a bespoke combination of two or more solutions under one simple facility.
How have you been helping your clients through COVID?
Like most businesses, we were forced to reshape the way we worked overnight when our entire team was asked to work from home last March. We knew that the challenges we were facing were shared with virtually every business owner and we wanted to ensure that we could continue to offer all our existing clients and introducers the same first-class service that they’re used to whilst still providing much needed funding to new clients.
We quickly gained accreditation to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to offer term loans alongside Invoice Finance and CBILS-backed Asset Finance and Bridging Finance to businesses who may not otherwise have been able to secure the funding they needed to keep trading through the pandemic. Alongside this, we continued to provide our full range of non-CBILS facilities and in total provided £125m of new funding facilities in 2020 and £1.5bn of total funding advances.
As the funding partner of choice supporting both our introducers and clients, we hosted a range of webinars to offer information about various government schemes and our own funding solutions as tools to keep their business moving, as well as providing wellbeing and mental health advice from experts so they could look after themselves and their own teams.
What is unique about Ultimate Finance as a lender?
As an independent company and backed by international private investment organisation, Tavistock Group, we take a different approach to business funding: we are solution-led, which means that we take the time to understand a business’ needs and ambitions so we can tailor the funding we provide them.
Some lenders have incorporated automated processes that provide answers to lending applications based on algorithms. But this is not how we use technology at Ultimate Finance – we pride ourselves on human underwriting facilitated by a quick process and use of technology. Indeed, we use technology to enhance the ability of our team to better serve our customers, and to improve the quality of interactions with both the introducer and the underlying borrower.
Everything we do is geared towards building long term relationships with our clients and our introducers – we provide the funding they need so they can get on with managing their business.
What advice do you have for businesses who are hesitant to take out funding?
We strive to remove the stigma and jargon attached to business funding so that business owners can approach it the way they would personal finance such as a mortgage. Business funding is no different – it helps turn ambitions into reality, whether that be to expend their business or simply to keep trading without worrying about cashflow.
The benefits of taking on funding vary depending on the solutions provided: Working Capital products will offer a robust source of cashflow based on unpaid invoices and can also provide additional safety nets through collection services and bad debt protection. Asset Finance enables a business to purchase the essential machinery, tools or even vehicles they need without the big upfront costs – and refinancing their existing assets lets them access extra cashflow too. And when it comes to short-term finance, Bridging Finance can secure the funding needed for property investors and developers to pursue purchase, refinancing or refurbishment opportunities.
Do you have a case study client you are particularly proud of?
We’re proud of being able to provide tailored funding and dedicated service to all of our clients, but because of the pandemic, we’re particularly proud that one of our Construction Finance clients could use their facility to help build Nightingale hospitals across the country.
What will your funding look like post-CBILS?
Going into 2021, with government schemes set to end, SMEs face being unable to access traditional sources of working capital funding, whether that’s loans or overdrafts. This is where the funding solutions we offer can be such a great option.
Access to capital will be a key ingredient for success, particularly in an uncertain trading environment, thus making our cashflow solutions such as Invoice Finance an essential tool to supporting recovery once lockdown trading restrictions and uncertainty are lifted.
We have a market-leading Asset Finance offering and recently revamped our Bridging Finance products to support property developers and investors post-CBILS by introducing new residential variants designed around specific requirements.
In summary, what businesses and introducers can expect from Ultimate Finance post-CBILS is the same commitment to keeping business moving through our tailored funding and excellent service.