SocGen Tames Euro Risk With Web-Based Lending

March 19, 2013

French bank Société Générale SA is boosting its financing capabilities to suppliers thanks to a Web-based platform it says will keep the wheels of commerce turning despite ongoing risks to Europe’s financial system, illustrated by dramatic recent events in Cyprus.

SocGen is increasing its reverse factoring activity, by which banks provide financing to vendors against their accounts receivable, by obtaining acknowledgment of the outstanding invoices by the buyers. In traditional factoring, suppliers borrow against future revenue from their clients; in reverse factoring, the clients help their suppliers obtain bank financing. That leads to “significantly lower” rates, because the clients have made it clear that they intend to honor their obligations to the supplier, thereby lowering risk to the lenders, says Philippe Lepoutre, general manager of CGA, SocGen’s commercial factoring unit.