We don’t just talk about helping businesses grow, we do it ourselves! To prove that, we have just opened an office in Glasgow – it’s our first in Scotland – following a highly successful year of trading, 2015 saw a three-fold increase in turnover from 2014.
ABL Business Scotland will operate from offices in the city’s West George Street and will be led by an additional director, Robert Perrie – an experienced commercial finance broker.
The new branch aims to provide SMEs with the knowledge, contacts and support to enable growth through accessing commercial funding streams, combined with marketing strategy and management.
ABL Scotland’s expansion comes almost two years after a merger between ABL Finance and Talk Direct Marketing to give customers access to broader end-to-end support packages.
Alex Beardsley, director of Cleckheaton-based ABL Business Ltd and a member of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers, said: “Over the past 12 months, we have dealt with over 200 SME businesses across the UK and brokered £25m in funding”. “Our business offer is now perfectly placed for the growing SME market across the UK, including Scotland, where we noticed that provision in the finance market was very limited”.
As well as SMEs accessing the services directly, she said that the packages had already proved popular with funders who have a presence in Scotland such as Lloyds, Ultimate Finance, Shawbrook Bank and Funding Circle.
“We identified a gap in the market in Scotland to provide services for firms operating in Glasgow and the central belt,” Robert Perrie said. “Accessing finance is one of the most challenging aspects of business for SMEs and our research revealed that not all firms realise brokers exist and those that are aware of them don’t quite understand how they operate”.
He continued: “We have already secured a good client base as the opportunity to access all financial needs with one point of contact is attractive, not just to the SMEs themselves but also to the funders, as it adds value for their clients”. “Combined with the additional business support available, this makes ABL Business (Scotland) a very attractive supplier for SMEs across the country. Our approach is always is to build trust and focus on people”.
Robert Perrie’s financial experience spans working for Lloyds Banking Group, Aldermore Bank and Western Union.
The move into Scotland is the first step in ABL’s growth strategy – with the company currently examining potential opportunities in the North-East, North-West, Midlands and London.
Director Andy Redman said: “We identified a niche to move into as a commercial finance brokerage, but wanted to be sure we could provide Scottish clients with the same level of personal service for which we are known in Yorkshire”. “Under Robert’s guidance, the new branch will enable us to achieve this and offer Scottish SMEs one point of contact where they can access a full range of funding to enable them to grow”.