The 2012/10/26 at 10:00
Alexandre T. Analis
Holding accountancy qualifications from the Université de Caen, Éric Sevestre, 42 years old, worked successively at Transamérica (1995-1998), Bombardier Capital (1998-2002), Transfact (2002-2005) and GCE Affacturage (2005-2011) before joining, in September 2011, the Caisse d’Épargne Bretagne - Pays de Loire as Stream and Specialised Professions Coordinator in the Development Division.
Commerce International: What, in your opinion, are the main advantages of factoring?
Éric Sevestre: "First of all, a distinction should be made between the advantages that factoring brings to bankers and those to clients. A banker needs to secure short-term financing and factoring notably enables him to bring the client a solution for treasury needs. It also offers the possibility of providing security for receivables as factoring encompasses credit insurance. In addition, factoring offers an effective debt recovery service that businesses do not necessarily have in-house. As for clients, factoring provides quick availability of cash flow (24 to 48 hours guaranteed according to the contract type at the Caisse d’Épargne) and the outsourcing, in full confidence, of receivables management."
Are there any disadvantages?
É.S.: "For bankers, the main disadvantage is that factoring cannot apply to all types of activity and leads to a loss in vision of the client's cash flow. The service undeniably comes at a cost, but it includes, beyond financing services, many services related to the optimisation of receivables management: credit insurance, chasing up and recovery of debts, administrative management..."
What advantage does factoring offer in the context of international prospecting?
É.S.: "Factoring makes sense when the client himself has repeat export clients or when he carries out a significant business volume for which operations need to be secured. For exporting clients, factoring allows financing to be backed by secured debt. It also means that debts can be chased up without any problems related to time differences or language barriers. At the Caisse d’Épargne Bretagne - Pays de Loire, we are precisely in the process of creating an international affairs position where the mission will be to support all the chargés d'affaires for all clients wishing to undertake international prospecting. This person's role will be to offer export factoring solutions meeting the specific needs of each. To give you an idea, the Caisse d’Épargne has 30 business chargés d’affaires with key accounts in eight business centres. Their goal is to promote and commercialise factoring and meet client needs."
How has the French Law on Economic Modernisation changed the factoring situation in France ?
É.S.: "This law dating from 4 August 2008 has changed the market by significantly diminishing payment deadlines. This has encouraged recourse to factoring, which has the virtue, I repeat, of bringing cash flow to the client very quickly."
How do you stand out from the competition?
É.S.: "We work with Natixis Factor, the factoring expert of the BPCE Group, the number two banking group in France with an obviously international stature. Also within the BPCE Group stable, Coface has a historic savoir-faire of international dealings and covers a very wide number of countries worldwide, with only a few exceptions for at-risk countries or countries under embargo."
More detailed information is available on the following web site: www.caisse-epargne.fr