We’re the first to endorse healthy competition in Canadian business finance (although it’s not as fun when we’re doing the competing) so it seems a good time to profile ABL asset based lending and business line of credit loans which compete directly with Canadian chartered bank facilities.
To say that Canadian business finance has changed over the last ten years or so would be a dramatic understatement. The reality is that a whole new wave of offerings to commercial business borrowers are available, and they come, you guessed it, not always from the Canadian chartered banking system.
Independent finance companies, some from the U.S. and even overseas have a multitude of new products for the Canadian business borrower. Even the internet empowers the Canadian business owner and financial manager as it often reveals a multitude of varied choices to those willing to search. Entering a keyword such as ‘ abl asset based line of credit ‘ will get you tons of info on alternative business credit facilities.
While banks often command the first train of thought when it comes to business finance for a revolving line of credit asset based lending finance is gaining more traction everyday.
So let’s provide some clarity around ABL finance in Canada. If there is one differentiator of the product it’s simply that the total focus of the facility revolves around one word, ‘ assets ‘. Non bank asset based loans are more flexible than a traditional bank offering, and at a time when more is better they leverage your assets significantly greater than a bank facility. Remember that an ABL loan is typically from an unregulated lender; they have different sources of capital and don’t require key elements that are necessary in the Canadian chartered bank system.
Clients, and we can forgive ourselves also, often make the mistake of viewing the asset based business line of credit a as a term loan… in fact its not. It’s simply a monetization of assets with the intent to liquidate the assets or collateral in the event of a default. A good way to look at it is to view it as thinking of your assets having to perform, not our ratios which tend to become the prime fixation in a commercial business line of credit.
So why the sudden and growing popularity in asset based lending in Canada. We think the answer to that is the fact that it covers every type of industry, retail, manufacturing, service, etc. But more importantly it also addresses your company life cycle.
An asset based ABL finance facility can be achieved for a start up, an established growing firm, and yes, those firms that have suffered severe financial challenges. In the ‘ old days’ (yes we remember them) it was not uncommon for forms of asst based lending to be viewed as a ‘ last resort’ type of financing. Fast forward to today and some of the largest corporations in the world, in Canada included; utilize this financing as opposed to a traditional bank facility. So something must be working!
So what would you need to start discussion around this type of facility? Typically it’s just the basics: your financial statements, aged receivables and payables, and detailed asset listings of any fixed assets. And by the way those fixed assets can easily become part of your revolving day to day facility – that’s clearly a major advantage when it’s required.
Speak to a trusted, credible and experienced Canadian business financing advisor to better understand how asst based loans can monetize your firm’s assets into an ABL facility that provides you with maximum working capital and asset leverage.