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Convertibill are an Irish lending platform that are expanding in to the UK. They provide working capital finance against confirmed orders from credit worthy buyers and also against outstanding invoices.

As business finance brokers Funding Solutions UK Ltd have had a few dealing with Convertibill and it would be fair to say that they have not gone well. It would also be fair to say that we won’t be having any more dealings with them. I would question their honesty and integrity for a few reasons. Here is a brief description of some of our interactions:

We introduced a client who provided specialist type of marine funding. Convertibill signed an NDA as the client was worried that their product would be copied. Convertibill requested more and more information and the client was suspicious that they were merely trying to obtain information from them so they could copy their approach or learn more about how to fund this type of transaction. When the client raised this the enquiry was closed down and they refused to acknowledge the signed NDA. Patrick Reynolds CEO advised, “There is no NDA from June” and despite sending him a copy of the signed NDA he refused to acknowledge it. Our client is now taking legal advice.

We introduced another client who was looking to bridge an investment transaction that included funding from the Future Fund. Convertibill advised that they could help but that they required a £15,000 commitment fee to start the process. The client paid the £15,000 and then asked if they could change the transaction. This request was the next day. Convertibill advised that they could no longer assist and that they had spent the £15,000 on legal fees and on securing the required funding. In my opinion this is a nonsense and is pure profiteering. Again, our client is taking legal advice.

As a finance broker I earn money from setting up finance facilities for my clients. I had referred a client to Mark Runiewicz of Convertibill and specifically request that he provided a stand alone trade/purchase finance facility for the client as they were happy with their invoice finance provider. Mark entered in to talks with the client and then introduced them to 3 invoice finance providers. These 3 lenders were Skipton Business Finance, Optimum Finance and Gener8. We were never advised of this by Mark but they client alerted us to this. Strangely, Mark then claimed that Convertibill had now started to fund against debtors and that they would fund the full transaction. It is my opinion that Mark was trying to broker this invoice finance requirement for himself. With one lender I checked with the lead was logged in the name of Mark’s business SC Advisors Limited who would have received the commission had the transaction completed. Putting our situation to one side it seems strange that Mark is employed by Convertibill but is introducing an invoice finance requirement to other lenders. Even more strange when you consider that is what we do as a business!! Market Finance were the incumbent invoice finance provider and they refused to work with Mark Runiewicz and Convertibill. At the time this seemed harsh to me but having done some investigation it appears they may have been concerned with Mark’s previous involvement with other P2P lenders via his business UK Exim Finance Limited and UK Exim Limited. The information at Companies House would suggest that these relationships did not end well. Type these business names in to Google and look at the filing history at Companies House. It appears that lenders lost money and a significant amount due the activities of these businesses.

Something really doesn’t feel right about Convertibill. My advice would be to proceed with extreme caution. Arguably, there are other options out there so maybe explore those.

If you are reading this as a fellow business finance broker I would also proceed with extreme caution. There are questions about how client introductions are handled but I also have reason to believe that they work hard to find ways not to pay broker commissions and may indeed pride themselves on their ability not to pay brokers. At a senior level within the business there seems to be a dislike for brokers and a willingness to find ways not to pay brokers the agreed fees.

Updated 5 October 2020.

 

I was approached by Convertibill and asked to take the post down. The initial conversation included a threat of legal action for libel if I did not take it down within 24 hours. With a view to learning more about their side of the story and as a gesture of goodwill I took the post down. However, whilst explanations were offered they did not change my opinion of what occurred. What I have posted is based on my honest opinion.

 

In addition, there has been an article published in the Telegraph on 2nd October 2020 about the businesses that Mark Runiewicz has run and the potential losses they have caused in the P2P lending sector. The articles are in the images below:

 

 

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.

Would you like to review or provide feedback on your experience of Close Brothers Invoice Finance? Reviews are at the bottom of this page and links to some interesting articles and blogs below.

It is probably fair to say that if you are looking for a provider of invoice finance there are better options out there in terms of pricing, structure of facilities and customer service levels. In terms of reputation there are also better options in our opinion. The reviews however will speak for themselves so please take a look at them and feel free to contribute your own experiences.

Close Brothers Invoice Finance are part of Close Brothers Group Plc and provide invoice finance solutions to over 1,000 clients. They are a national player with full UK coverage. They also offer invoice finance facilities in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

They are one of the larger independent invoice finance companies with offices in Brighton, Manchester, Dublin and Belfast.

In our opinion, more common complaints about Close Brothers Invoice Finance include their lack of flexibility, charges such as minimum base rates, their arrogant approach and some people have described them as ‘unapproachable’.

Complaints below highlight their attitude, the poor quality of their system and the high fees some clients are charged for funding which is often restricted.

Read more:

An independent blog post about Close Brothers putting a business into administration – click here

Article on Close Brothers Invoice Finance pricing – click here

Article regarding a restrictive facility structure – click here

Trustpilot makes for some interesting reading – click here

It also appears there is a blog dedicated to Close Brothers – click here

Close Brothers also feature in an article on complaints about wealth management companies where it states, “Close Brothers also features on the list with 169 complaints, but its complaints are related mostly to banking and credit with none related to investments.” While this is not linked directly to the invoice finance arm of Close Brothers we find it interesting as it gives a feel for the overall organisation and what they might feel is acceptable. For the article – click here

An extract from one Trustpilot review reads, “AVOID AVOID AVOID….

When making a complaint no manager or person of authority bothered to speak to me directly then they say they are just closing my complaint down, when I said I’m not satisfied with the outcome, you don’t expect a large company such as this to just ignore customers, in my opinion this company is slimy and deceptive and lack the ability to treat customers fairly.

I’ll wait for the standard message they send saying they are sorry I feel this way, if they were sorry they would of dealt with my issue when they had the chance.
AVOID AVOID AVOID”

 

If you would like to share your experiences of Close Brothers Invoice Finance please feel free to do so but please try to be objective and refrain from abusive remarks.