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Opinion > Wyelands Bank

Demystifying asset-based lending

Ian Flaxman, managing director, working capital solutions at Wyelands Bank | 16:57 Wednesday 2nd January 2019

Do you know the difference between ‘approved payables finance’, ‘reverse factoring’, ‘vendor pre-pay’ and ‘contract monetisation financing’.

Those of you that spotted that this is a trick question are correct. These expressions all mean the same thing, although it may not be immediately clear what that is.

One of the challenges in financial services – as in many professions – is the use of jargon. Used well, technical terminology can – for instance – help doctors understand subtle differences between different conditions, and those differences will be critical in how the patient is treated.  

Used badly, jargon can simply confuse and create barriers with customers, which can put them at a disadvantage. The use of jargon can make it harder for customers to understand what they are looking for or buying. That can make it difficult for them to know if they are getting good value or even the right solution.

Our own research of 37 financial services providers of working capital solutions shows that companies use nearly 30 different terms for just three financial products. 

Receivables finance has the highest number of synonyms used with 21 different names. Meanwhile, trade finance has five different names. Inventory finance is the least confusing product and is given just one other name.

These relatively simple concepts do not need so much jargon around them. Jargon is confusing. It does not differentiate through innovation, but through confusion.  

We believe the industry should apply the same definitions around each of the core products, doing more to help customers understand.

Here is what Wyelands Bank would like to see under the umbrella term asset-based lending and the synonyms used by companies researched:  


As can be seen, many of the terms used are slight variations of a core product or labelled to appeal to a particular sector.

But few customers have the time or expertise to pore over the subtle distinctions between seemingly similar services. Rarely are they experts in the finance industry and nor should they have to be. 

Making it easy for firms to raise funds to trade, grow and create jobs goes to the heart of the productivity debate in the UK. Anything that gets in the way can be detrimental to those firms and to the UK economy.

At Wyelands Bank, because we are new, we have been able to do this from the outset. We get to know our customer’s business and understand what they need. We don’t simply offer off-the-shelf products.  

We help our customers meet their business challenges by understanding their range of assets and finding the right solution to suit them and we do it without the jargon.

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