Sunday, 21 October 2012

PRM: stepping in where banks fear to tread

I've discussed SRM a lot lately - more often than not about the vulnerability of firms which do not take it seriously (you can pick up on the previous discussions here).  So learning of Rolls Royce and GlaxoSmithKline stepping in where banks have feared to tread, by providing supply chain financing, impressed me quite a bit.

Rolls Royce have stepped in to lend £500m to small suppliers as a result of banks failing to do so - prior to the Global Financial Crisis there had been no need to.  It's not clear how much GSK have lent. Honda haven't actually lent any money but they have spoken up on behalf of their suppliers so that they can obtain bank finance.

This has to be a strong demonstration of true partnership working.  I would like to hear the government had learnt from this and were going to do similar.  However, it may be more pragmatic if the government introduced an incentive for others to do likewise by under-writing some of the risk the buyers have taken on.  If that were the case, and the offer was extended to public authorities too, I could see this being just the type of initiative which could encourage SME investment and accelerate the UK recovery - let's wait and see if the Chancellor or Business Secretary think so too, mind you I'll not hold my breath.

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