Emma Meets – Mike Freebury – Head of Sales – Bibby Financial Services

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Emma Peterson,  Director FinTech Awards Wales & Finance Awards Wales Meets:

Mike Freebury,

Head of Sales,

Bibby Financial Services

 

Tell us about your business and what your role is within the company?

Bibby Financial Services is a working capital provider offering flexible cash-flow solutions to small and medium sized enterprises. We assist clients in a broad range of industries such as manufacturing, transportation, recruitment, construction and also clients that export goods and services.

I am Head of Sales for the South Wales area but as a company we are nationwide and also operate in many territories worldwide.

Why did you choose to sponsor the Finance Awards Wales 2020?

I like that the awards recognise all levels within the finance sector, from the Rising Stars to the Outstanding Contribution to finance in Wales. And for that reason we have a been a sponsored every year.

What impact do you feel the Awards have made in the Finance sector in Wales?

It’s had a massive positive affect within the finance sector. Each year it doesn’t disappoint The room is filled with 400+ people with one thing in common, promoting the finance sector and professionals we have across Wales.

It also gives the finance sector, individuals and companies a voice and opportunity to connect with like minded people.

If you attended the previous Finance Awards what did you enjoy?

I really enjoyed the format of it, I thought it was relaxed yet formal. The way it was put together, the entertainment and the food were brilliant. I can’t wait to see what entertainment we have this year.

How do you feel the Welsh economy will fare over the next 12 months?

Lot’s will depend upon how the new variants of covid impact our society. Certainly the hope from everyone is that we are able to manage this well via the vaccine rollout and through better access to testing. If this is the case, we will continue to see restrictions relaxed, which will allow more business sectors to open up further.

With this in mind, we are already seeing an upturn in the economy and pleasingly, more people are getting back to work, although we still have a long way to go before the levels of employment are back at pre-pandemic levels.

The expected increase in trade will present challenges for some businesses who have used government backed loans and their own cash reserves to keep their businesses afloat during the last year or so. For those businesses it is essential that they highlight the issues early and put plans in place so they can take advantage of the upturn. For some it may well be that asset backed lending facilities will offer the required solutions and this is where we can help.

What are your thoughts on the rise of AI and Tech within the finance sector?

We have been looking at it for years and we still are and making progess We are constantly looking to improve our offering and make it quicker. It’s the speed that interests me the most. And with open banking and blockchain you are now able to have a full under written offer within 30 seconds. That’s the way forward.

Its a strong proposition, and its one that will only grow because technology is here and we are embracing it, but we need to make sure that the capitalisation of the businesses that are offering this funding are strong enough. They need the right controls in place so they can spot warning signs early and not then encounter client defaults

What plans do you have for your business in 2020?

We were in the process of streamlining our product base and making it easier to onboard new clients before the pandemic hit. Since then, we have been able to complete these projects and roll them out.

What this means is that we are able to act a lot quicker and in a more flexible fashion for our clients as the economy continues to recover.

We certainly expect to see an increase in client numbers and market share over the next year.