Date posted: September 27, 2012
Written by: Joanna Holloway
UC Finance has launched a unique new service designed to provide freelancers and contractors with the essential low cost funding facilities frequently denied them by High Street banks.
The first of its kind in the UK, the company’s Timesheet Finance product is aimed at freelancers, contractors and one-man limited companies, enabling them to borrow up to 80% of the value of their contracted work. The service, created in response to a sharp decrease in lending by traditional banks, has been conceived to enable self-employed workers to improve their cash flow with access to a fast, flexible and affordable alternative to overdrafts and expensive payday loans.
“Freelancers and contractors represent a significant proportion of the workforce, yet they are all too frequently ignored by a banking system that doesn’t treat them with the respect or the degree of seriousness they deserve. The harsh reality of this situation is that it leaves them with few affordable options when it comes to raising funds and creates a significant obstacle for anyone trying to start out working for themselves,” said Alasdair McGill, UC Finance’s Chief Executive.
“A new concept in the UK, Timesheet Finance has been created to fill a glaring gap in the market for individuals struggling to find fair treatment elsewhere.”
The service offers contractors and freelancers the ability to leverage the value of their work timesheet, borrowing against their recorded hours via a straightforward process. Following a short set-up procedure, customers email their approved timesheets direct to UC Finance, after which the company transfers up to 80% of the value into their bank accounts – with the balance, minus fees, following immediately after their invoice has been paid.
Timesheet Finance is fully compliant with HMRC’s IR35 regulations and all costs are 100% tax deductible. There are no hidden costs, no notice or minimum periods and no minimum fees for the service, while borrowing rates do not fluctuate depending upon the individual borrower’s credit rating.
“We’ve designed Timesheet Finance to be everything that modern lending should be but frequently isn’t: transparent, honest, affordable and easy to both access and administer. As the banking sector’s reputation continues to be tarnished, our approach has been to blend 21st Century convenience and flexibility with old world values, creating a new breed of financial service to match the public mood,” said Alf Gordon, Chairman of UC Finance and current Grampian Entrepreneur of the Year.
Scottish Enterprise Company Growth Account Manager Sean Donald, who’s worked closely with UC Finance to support the company’s development, added:
“For a long time now, it has become increasingly difficult for freelancers and small businesses to obtain any form of finance, business or personal. We are pleased to support this new development which could significantly enhance existing freelancers ability to fund themselves, and in addition remove barriers for new freelancers entering the market.”
UC Finance has secured initial funding of £5m, in addition to receiving approval of a Regional Selective Assistance Grant (RSA) of a further £250k from Scottish Enterprise.