Finding funding for a business can be a daunting task

By Ricardo Chaves

Ricardo Chaves is Operations Director of Money Mais, the financial services company based in Almancil. Money Mais is an independent mortgage advisor and provides foreign exchange services in association with Moneycorp, who are one of the UK’s leading foreign exchange and international money transfer providers.

According to data released by the Bank of Portugal on February 21, the amount owed to banks by Portugal-based companies at the end of December 2010 was €116,720 million.

This represents a decrease of 1.78% when compared with the previous month which means that bank lending to businesses in Portugal is at its lowest level since March 2009.

These figures prove what those of us in business already know, in the current market, it is a long and stressful process trying to obtain a commercial loan.  

In order to qualify for a commercial loan, a business must have sufficient credit history, be able to prove repay-ability of the loan and illustrate stable financial returns. A loan may also require collateral to insure payback of the funds in case the borrower defaults.

It is interesting to know that banks are being penalised by the rating agencies for being dependent on loans relating to investment in real estate and, therefore, banks are being encouraged to seek new business clients in order to diversify their credit portfolio.

It’s helpful for local business owners to know what kind of bank products are still available as the general perception is that bank doors are closed to commercial clients. These bank products are available to corporate clients, subject to status:

• Overdraft accounts

• Bridging loans

• Factoring

• Equipment leasing

• Investment loans

If it were as simple as knowing that these bank products were available, the lending figures announced by the Bank of Portugal would surely be higher, but in these challenging economic times, if you’re looking for a commercial loan, it pays to speak to a professional financial services broker.  

In addition, a financial services broker will save you time as you only submit one application to the broker, and they in turn submit the application to the appropriate lenders in order to fish for the best commercial bank products; the business owner may be approved for more than one loan, which allows him to choose between various terms and conditions.

Money Mais have a network of sources to send commercial applications to and because of their contacts with the banks, they will know which banks need to improve their client portfolio.

So, if your business is in need of a financial health check, why not have a chat with Money Mais who can look at your business needs in confidence and help you to restructure your finances so that you concentrate on making your business a success.

If you would like to find out more about how PayCollect could make a difference to your business and to arrange a live demonstration, please contact Money Mais on + 351 211 452 105, or email