BIBBY Financial Services has unveiled a 40 per cent hike in its lending to Scottish businesses over the past 12 months, and flagged up ambitions to increase its provision of funding further.

The invoice finance specialist said yesterday that, between April 2013 and last month, it had increased its lending to businesses north of the Border from £18.3 million to £25.6m.

Bibby, which has operations in Glasgow and Edinburgh and has also highlighted a focus on Aberdeen, added that its number of funding agreements with Scottish companies in the first quarter of 2014 had been double that in the same period of last year.

Loading article content

It took this as a sign that more businesses were using invoice finance to improve their cash-flow positions.

Invoice finance provides businesses with working capital by advancing a percentage of the value of their invoices.

Alan Anderson, head of sales for Bibby Financial Services in Scotland, highlighted the lender's plan to expand its funding of small and medium-sized enterprises in Scotland further.

He said: "In the past year, we have significantly boosted the level of funding we provide to businesses, which is a great achievement. We have a wealth of ambitious, innovative enterprises in Scotland and the business environments in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen are a key focus for us."

Mr Anderson added: "Historically, there has been a misconception that invoice finance is only suitable for very small or very large businesses but it's now seen as a viable source of funding by a variety of business types.

"We fund businesses in over 300 industry sectors, from small businesses that need funding to grow to management buy-ins and buy-outs of larger companies."

Mr Anderson declared that businesses in Scotland did "not seem to be worried" about the implications of the independence referendum.

He said: "For all the talk about independence, businesses just seem to be getting on and performing well, which is really encouraging."