News & Info

Six months on, how are SMEs in the construction sector faring?

A study of UK subcontractors in 2018 directly looks at the impact Carillion’s collapse has had on the industry. The research, found that 60% of subcontractors had suffered from bad debt in the past 12 months.
  • Subcontractors take on an average of 45 new contracts each year.
  • The average contract value is £205,077.
  • 56% say they have no bargaining power and have to accept contract terms stipulated by main contractors or risk losing business.
  • 47% say that the collapse of Carillion has made them wary of working with large main contractors.
  • 82% say they support mandatory payment terms for all public sector suppliers and 69% say there should be better public reporting of supply chains.
  • Subcontractors have an average of 26 weeks’ work in the pipeline, compared with 22 in 2016.
As highlighted in City AM, bank lending to SMEs in the property sector has fallen 9% in the last year from £13.9bn to £12.7bn, according to commercial lender Ortus Secured Finance. However, manufacturing was one of three sectors to see an increase in lending last year with SMEs in industry enjoying an 11% rise to £6.3bn. MD Jon Salisbury commented: "The fall in lending to SMEs in the property sector is indicative of the wider lack of financing available to smaller businesses from the high-street lenders across all industries as the economy rebalances."
This multi-disciplinary breakfast event for property developers, introduced by the RT Hon Sir Oliver Letwin, MP, comprised a series of short presentations providing invaluable information on how to maximise your next development opportunity.

James discussed the different lending options along with the future expectations for property developers including the macroeconomic environment.

Presentations were delivered by some of the areas most experienced professionals and focused on design aspects, key advice on planning legislation, the tax regime, the legal and financial strategy, and the marketing of your development. The event raised almost £500 for Brain Tumour Research thanks to its generous delegates.

If you’re interested in attending any future events then please feel free to contact us, you’ll learn some insider knowledge with talks from some of the best in the industry.

Although the talk went well unfortunately James forgot to look at the camera (far right)!
As part of his role as Vice President of ICAEW Southern – James hosted the quarterly round table discussion for senior accountants who work in industry. As always it was a lively discussion and exchange of ideas covering topics as broad as preparing for Brexit, skills shortages, local authority planning issues and the apprenticeship scheme.

The purpose of the seminar was to discover whether landowners had development potential and what to do if it did.

As a land or property owner, you’ll no doubt appreciate that you possess a valuable asset. But are you aware of all the development opportunities available to you? And if you have already applied for Planning Consent with a view to selling, did you know that there are potentially more lucrative options open to you that are often overlooked? Put simply: your land could be worth more than you think.

Could you develop on the land yourself by taking out a commercial loan or enter a joint venture with a developer? If this is daunting, we can discuss your financing options until you feel comfortable.
In his role as Vice President of ICAEW Southern James co-hosted the first Business Member Update in the area with more than 40 Finance Directors, Financial Controllers and other financial professionals in attendance. With speakers from the likes of Mazars, Steele Raymond and Insightful UX covering a range of topics from technical financial updates through to employment law and digital marketing – it was a lively and informative event.
Aben Financial's founding partner James Wallis was thrilled to be recently voted as ICAEW South West's Vice President of the Committee. 'It's a real honour to be voted in by the rest of the committee, the ICAEW is so important in developing, promoting and supporting the accounting industry. So to be able to play an active role in the industry locally, is really rewarding". James qualified as a chartered accountant in 2004 and he is incredibly proud of his accountancy roots, " the accountant in me always approaches deals with a healthy amount of caution and a desire to never spend more than necessary for finance!"
A survey of SMEs by Worldpay reveals the majority are planning for growth in 2018. But more than half also admit they are concerned that traditional routes to finance, including bank loans, may not be available at the same levels in the coming year. Some 30% say they have already encountered difficulties securing funding through these channels. As a result, small business owners are increasingly looking at alternative financing options to support growth. While 21% of business owners aged 44 or under say they are still most likely to apply for a bank loan when looking for funding, 17% of respondents say they’re more likely to look at crowdfunding, while 11% prefer peer-to-peer lending, and 6% say they favour business cash advance.
London Loves Business
Alongside Steele Raymond Solicitors, David James Architects and Chapman Lily Planning - Aben Financial were pleased to host over 60 local property developers at the Harbour Heights Hotel for a series of presentations.

James discussed how to optimise your financing structure in the fast changing finance market and the downfalls of not planning in advance.

Thank you to our professional partners and the Harbour Heights hotel for their incredible hospitality and for everyone who came and enjoyed the breakfast meeting!

Last week our founding partner was invited onto The Property Geek's ( podcast to discuss how peer to peer platforms can be used as a valuable source of finance for a huge range of property projects. The podcast looks at the following:

You’ve probably heard of peer-to-peer (or P2P) finance, and you might be aware of the bigger platforms like Zopa and Funding Circle. But you might not have thought to turn to peer-to-peer for your property project – or be aware of how many different options there are.
In this episode I speak to James Wallis from Aben Financial – a commercial finance advisor with a particularly deep knowledge of the peer-to-peer sector.
Listen to this week’s show and learn:
What the P2P sector looks like
Who should consider using it, and for which types of project
The three main advantages compared to bank financing
The range of costs you’re likely to pay
The risks to be aware of
How to choose the right platform for your project
How to maximise your chances of getting funded by presenting your project in the right way
Where to get started if you’re interested in using P2P

Listen to the episode in full here:


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Latest News

Fall in Lending to SMEs in the Property Sector
Bank lending to SMEs in the property sector has fallen 9% in the last year from £13.9bn to £12.7bn, according to commercial lender Ortus Secured Finance. However, manufacturing was one of three sectors to see an increase in lending last year with SMEs in industry enjoying an 11% rise to £6.3bn.
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