UK-based Ultimate Finance Group has launched a subsidiary to give its clients better access to funding.

The new group, Trade Finance, will help its clients purchase finished goods against confirmed orders from credit-worthy end buyers.

The launch comes as the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported an increase of £1.5bn (4.5%) to £34.5bn in total UK imports in August; reflecting the strong import market for finished consumer goods.

Maurice Ezekiel, managing director of Ultimate Trade Finance, says: “With such a strong market for low-cost finished consumer goods in the UK, many British businesses are looking to benefit from the competitive prices offered by overseas suppliers. Importing goods from outside the EU can help businesses to increase profit margins and realise the potential for the business and its stakeholders.”

“The uncertain economic climate however means suppliers are increasingly wary, and payment is often required prior to delivery. Many businesses have found it challenging to adapt to the change in trading conditions over the last 18 months. We are looking to provide cash flow respite to help bridge the gap for clients with otherwise healthy businesses.”

Ezekiel tells GTR that the new subsidiary will help the firm’s existing customer base, who are currently utilising factoring and invoice discounting and importing services, as well as those who are buying in the UK from a UK supplier.

Trade Finance will be offering two new trade finance products as part of its launch, Ezekiel confirms to GTR. The first product is a purchase finance only product, which will be available for clients who have experience in trading and have comfortable balance sheets, Ezekiel says.

“As part of the product we can pay the supplier on behalf of our client and then extend the credit times directly to the client, which they then repay us on the terms that we agree on. It works as a revolving facility on top of any of our client’s bank loans and letter of credit lines, so it effectively works as a top up facility specifically for their imports.”

The second product is a supply chain finance solution, which will fund the firm’s clients throughout their supply chains. Trade Finance will fund the product, the import and export duties and freight charges, as well as delivery fees to the end customer.

“The repayment of that product will come from the end customer, not via our client. So when the customer pays his invoice those funds are used to repay us, we take charges from that as well.”