Survey: Factoring Sector of Finance Industry Shows Resilience Despite Decreased Volume
Secured Finance Network Releases Mid-Year Report
NEW YORK, NY, Oct. 16, 2023 ─ The factoring sector began 2023 on a positive note and has continued to show resilience in an uncertain economy, according to the MidYear Factoring Industry Survey, released by the Secured Finance Network (SFNet). The survey included the Factoring Confidence Index, which found that despite a lingering threat of recession, member organizations are optimistic about the demand for new business and portfolio performance. General business conditions and industry employment levels, meanwhile, were predicted to remain the same.
“The overall outlook for the U.S. economy has improved in recent months due to strong consumer spending and easing inflation,” the report said. “The odds of a ‘soft-landing’—a further easing of inflation without a recession—have increased somewhat, but recession risks remain.”
Factoring is the process by which a buyer—a non-bank lender or bank affiliate referred to as a “factor”—purchases the accounts receivable of a client, at a discount. Clients are typically companies involved in textiles, apparel, business services, shipping, transportation and other industries that want to improve cash flow, according to SFNet.
This industry, like many others, continues to feel the pressures of a post-pandemic economy. Overall factoring volume in the first half of this year decreased by 13.5% compared to the same period in 2022, the report said. U.S. volume was down 13.3% and international volume fell by 23.7%. Apparel/textiles remained the top client industry for volume at 30.2% after holding a similar position in SFNet surveys in recent years.
“The number of factoring clients edged down by 0.3% from H1 2022 to H1 2023,” the report said, “with U.S. clients dropping by 0.4% and international clients increasing by 5.7% over the same period. Banks and brokers were the top two sources of client referrals, accounting for over half of all referrals during those periods.”
Regionally, there was little change year-over-year in factoring volume and clients, the report said, but the distribution of volume was notably different from the distribution of clients. The Northeast had the highest share of volume in the first half of this year (58%), but the Southeast had the highest share of clients (27%).
“Non-recourse factoring continued to comprise the vast majority of total volume (85.9%) while full recourse factoring comprised the majority of clients (81.8%),” the report said. “Notification factoring comprised a slight majority of volume (51.1%), with its share of volume declining steadily from H2 2021 (77.0%). Notification factoring still comprised the vast majority of clients (96.5%) and was relatively unchanged.”
More factoring survey highlights:
- Average loan turnover saw a slight increase to 47.8 days in the first half of 2023 and average days sales outstanding also rose, to 50.7.
- For portfolios, write-offs were up slightly from the same period in 2022 as a share of volume, from 0.04% to 0.11%. Provisions for loan loss accounted for 0.44% of volume.
- Factoring revenues decreased by 26% from midyear 2022, with net interest revenue holding steady at 58%. The share of service fees, meanwhile, saw a slight increase.
- Average return on assets rose 4.2% while average return on equity increased 15.2%, the report said. Survey respondents reported pre-tax income at 0.63% of volume in the first half of this year.
- The number of employees in factoring grew from the previous two quarters, but not by much: 1.2%.
Follow the link for more publicly available information on the MidYear Factoring Industry Survey. SFNet members have access to additional data and detailed reporting.
About Secured Finance Network
Founded in 1944, the Secured Finance Network (formerly Commercial Finance Association) is an international trade association connecting the interests of companies and professionals who deliver and enable secured financing to businesses. With more than 1,000 member organizations throughout the US, Europe, Canada and around the world, SFNet brings together the people, data, knowledge, tools and insights that put capital to work. For more information, please visit SFNet.com.
Michele Ocejo, Director of Communications
Secured Finance Network
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