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Aldermore Invoice Finance is the 2nd incarnation of Cattles Invoice Finance. Initially they rebranded as Absolute Invoice Finance and now as the invoice finance arm of Aldermore Bank.

The most startling observation of Aldermore has to be the staff turnover. It is simply astonishing. In speaking with a previous managing director prior to the IPO we were told that the executive team were targeted on recruitment and on expanding the sales team in certain areas. This focus on expansion seemed to override the focus on looking after existing staff and they were leaving in droves. Good people from the invoice finance industry were joining and leaving very quickly. Some were even resigning without having jobs to go to.

Another worrying observation was the number of recruits they took from RBS Invoice Finance. A large proportion were from RBS and this was a team that had arguably caused some real issues there. The extent of the problems were somewhat overshadowed by the near collapse of the overall banking organisation but there were specific issues within the invoice finance arm that caused the then MD to lose his job despite his recent arrival.

Having had dealing with Aldermore Invoice Finance I would question their honesty and customer service. I have seen a client that they refused to assist with an increased funding request try to exit the relationship. The relationship manager involved was very aggressive and this resulted in a formal complaint to both Aldermore Invoice Finance and Aldermore Bank including their CEO Philip Monk. Astonishingly the individual involved was named on the formal complaint acknowledgement letter as the individual that would be investigating the complaint. Unsurprisingly he concluded his investigation and advised he had not found any wrong doing. The client wanted to leave to go to another lender that would provide unrestricted funding of their debtor book. Aldermore charged a hefty termination fee which goes against what is advised by the ABFA Code of Conduct. The ‘Guidance to the ABFA Code’ it states:

“3.2.3 Where a client requests termination of a facility without the required or any period of notice, even though Members may not have any legal obligation to agree, they are encouraged to give reasonable consideration to such request, particularly where continuation of the facility may cause hardship to the client.”

The relationship manager advised verbally that he did not care about the ABFA Code of Conduct and they would do as they pleased. This seems to be common practice and I have one client who was arguably forced out of business by Aldermore’s termination fees.

In terms of honesty I have personally had issues with senior members of the Aldermore team in terms of how they have handled enquiries. It would appear that honesty is optional.

There was a case of a large haulage company that was with HSBC and needed a new funder. There were several large players involved and all looked at supporting the business to some degree. However, the Aldermore offer was far more aggressive. One lender had been there doing due diligence for 3 days and was advised that Aldermore had only taken 1 day on their due dilligence. Aldermore funded the deal in January and almost immediately withheld funding. They were aggressive with the management team of the business and ultimately forced them to leave in March. Sadly, arguably due the restricted funding implemented by Aldermore, the business went into administration in the May.

I think you would need to question the competence of Aldermore.

One of the biggest issues Aldermore Invoice Finance has is defining what deals or transactions they can support. They don’t seem to command a particular position in the market. You could argue that they are not particularly good at anything and are more of a generalist. This seems to impact on their ability to win deals in the market and also on their ability to service clients once they are on board.

They also took on board a team from another lender that specialises in construction finance. One of the senior team members, who still works there, is a convicted shoplifter.

If you have a requirement for invoice finance it is safe to say there will be better options in the market than Aldermore. Do your research, look at reviews and take advice.

If you would like to share your experience with Aldermore please feel free to comment.

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