Monthly Archives: May 2017

Factoring

Factoring is a financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable to a third party (called a factor) at a discount. A business will sometimes factor its receivable assets to meet its present and immediate cash needs. Forfaiting is a factoring arrangement used in international trade finance by exporters who wish to sell theirreceivables to a forfaiter. Factoring is commonly referred to as accounts receivable factoring, invoice factoring, and sometimes accounts receivable financing. Accounts receivable financing is a term more accurately used to describe a form of asset based lending against accounts receivable. The Commercial Finance Association is the leading trade association of the asset-based lending and factoring industries. It is Also Covered Under INDAS as same. Factoring is not the same as invoice discounting. Factoring is the sale of receivables, whereas invoice discounting is a borrowing that involves the use of the accounts receivable assets as collateral for the loan. However, in some other markets, such as the UK, invoice discounting is considered to be a form of factoring, involving the “assignment of receivables”, that is included in official factoring statistics. It is therefore also not considered to be borrowing in the UK. In the UK the arrangement is usually confidential in that the debtor is not notified of the assignment of the receivable and the seller of the receivable collects the debt on behalf of the factor. In the UK, the main difference between factoring and invoice discounting is confidentiality. Scots law differs from that of the rest of the UK, in that notification to the account debtor is required for the assignment to take place. The Scottish Law Commission is reviewing this position and seeks to propose reform by the end of 2017.

The factoring process can be broken up into two parts: the initial account setup and ongoing funding. Setting up a factoring account typically takes one to two weeks and involves submitting an application, a list of clients, an accounts receivable aging report and a sample invoice. The approval process involves detailed underwriting, during which time the factoring company can ask for additional documents, such as documents of incorporation, financials, and banks statements. If approved, the business will be set up with a maximum credit line from which they can draw. In the case of notification factoring, the arrangement is not confidential and approval is contingent upon successful notification; a process by which factoring companies send the business’s client or account debtor a Notice of Assignment. The Notice of Assignment serves to

  1. inform debtors that a factoring company is managing all of the business’s receivables,
  2. stake a claim on the financial rights for the receivables factored, and
  3. update the payment address – usually a bank lock box.

Once the account is set up, the business is ready to start funding invoices. Invoices are still approved on an individual basis, but most invoices can be funded in a business day or two, as long as they meet the factor’s criteria. Receivables are funded in two parts. The first part is the “advance” and covers 80% to 85% of the invoice value. This is deposited directly to the business’s bank account. The remaining 15% to 20% is rebated, less the factoring fees, as soon as the invoice is paid in full to the factoring company.

Islamic Banking

Islamic banking is banking or financing activity that complies with sharia (Islamic law) and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Some of the modes of Islamic banking/finance include Mudarabah (Profit and loss sharing), Wadiah (safekeeping), Musharaka (joint venture), Murabahah(cost plus), and Ijar (leasing). Sharia prohibits riba, or usury, defined as interest paid on all loans of money (although some Muslims dispute whether there is a consensus that interest is equivalent to riba). Investment in businesses that provide goods or services considered contrary to Islamic principles  is also haraam.

These prohibitions have been applied historically in varying degrees in Muslim countries/communities to prevent un-Islamic practices. In the late 20th century, as part of the revival of Islamic identity, a number of Islamic banks formed to apply these principles toprivate or semi-private commercial institutions within the Muslim community. Their number and size has grown so that by 2009, there were over 300 banks and 250 mutual funds around the world complying with Islamic principles, and around $2 trillion were sharia-compliant by 2014. Sharia-compliant financial institutions represented approximately 1% of total world assets, concentrated in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, Iran, and Malaysia. Although Islamic Banking still makes up only a fraction of the banking assets of Muslims, since its inception it has been growing faster than banking assets as a whole, and is projected to continue to do so.

The industry has been lauded for returning to the path of “divine guidance” in rejecting the “political and economic dominance” of the West, and noted as the “most visible mark” of Islamic revivalism. Its most enthusiastic advocates promising “no inflation, no unemployment, no exploitation and no poverty” once it is fully implemented.  But it has also been criticized for failing to develop profit and loss sharing or more ethical modes of investment promised by early promoters, and instead selling banking products that “comply with the formal requirements of Islamic law”, but use “ruses and subterfuges to conceal interest”, and entail “higher costs, bigger risks” than conventional (ribawi) banks.

Money on the most common type of Islamic financing — debt-based contracts — “must be made from a tangible asset that one owns and thus has the right to sell — and in financial transactions it demands that risk be shared.” Money cannot be made from money. Another statement of the Islamic banking theory of finance is: “Money has no intrinsic utility; it is only a medium of exchange.” Other restrictions include

  • Islamic banks are to collect zakat (obligatory religious alms giving) from customers’ accounts — at least according to some sources.
  • A board of Shariah experts is to supervise and advise each Islamic bank on the propriety of transactions to “ensure that all activities are in line with Islamic principles”. 
  • Risk sharing. symmetrical risk and return on distribution to participants so that no one benefits disproportionately from the transaction.

In general, Islamic banking and finance has been described as having the “same purpose” as conventional banking but operating in accordance with the rules of shariah law (Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance), or having the same “basic objective” as other private entities, i.e. “maximization of shareholder wealth” (Mohamed Warsame). In a similar vein, Mahmoud El-Gamal states that Islamic finance “is not constructively built from classical jurisprudence”. It follows conventional banking and deviates from it “only insofar as some conventional practices are deemed forbidden under Sharia.”

Types of Banks

  • Commercial banks: the term used for a normal bank to distinguish it from an investment bank. After the Great Depression, the U.S. Congress required that banks only engage in banking activities, whereas investment banks were limited to capital market activities. Since the two no longer have to be under separate ownership, some use the term “commercial bank” to refer to a bank or a division of a bank that mostly deals with deposits and loans from corporations or large businesses.
  • Community banks: locally operated financial institutions that empower employees to make local decisions to serve their customers and the partners.
  • Community development banks: regulated banks that provide financial services and credit to under-served markets or populations.
  • Land development banks: The special banks providing long-term loans are called land development banks (LDB). The history of LDB is quite old. The first LDB was started at Jhang in Punjab in 1920. The main objective of the LDBs are to promote the development of land, agriculture and increase the agricultural production. The LDBs provide long-term finance to members directly through their branches.[24]
  • Credit unions or co-operative banks: not-for-profit cooperatives owned by the depositors and often offering rates more favourable than for-profit banks. Typically, membership is restricted to employees of a particular company, residents of a defined area, members of a certain union or religious organizations, and their immediate families.
  • Postal savings banks: savings banks associated with national postal systems.
  • Private banks: banks that manage the assets of high-net-worth individuals. Historically a minimum of USD 1 million was required to open an account, however, over the last years many private banks have lowered their entry hurdles to USD 350,000 for private investors.[citation needed]
  • Offshore banks: banks located in jurisdictions with low taxation and regulation. Many offshore banks are essentially private banks.
  • Savings bank: in Europe, savings banks took their roots in the 19th or sometimes even in the 18th century. Their original objective was to provide easily accessible savings products to all strata of the population. In some countries, savings banks were created on public initiative; in others, socially committed individuals created foundations to put in place the necessary infrastructure. Nowadays, European savings banks have kept their focus on retail banking: payments, savings products, credits and insurances for individuals or small and medium-sized enterprises. Apart from this retail focus, they also differ from commercial banks by their broadly decentralized distribution network, providing local and regional outreach – and by their socially responsible approach to business and society.
  • Building societies and Landesbanks: institutions that conduct retail banking.
  • Ethical banks: banks that prioritize the transparency of all operations and make only what they consider to be socially responsible investments.
  • A direct or internet-only bank is a banking operation without any physical bank branches, conceived and implemented wholly with networked computers.

Types of investment banks

  • Investment banks “underwrite” (guarantee the sale of) stock and bond issues, trade for their own accounts, make markets, provideinvestment management, and advise corporations on capital market activities such as mergers and acquisitions.
  • Merchant banks were traditionally banks which engaged in trade finance. The modern definition, however, refers to banks which provide capital to firms in the form of shares rather than loans. Unlike venture caps, they tend not to invest in new companies.

Both combined

  • Universal banks, more commonly known as financial services companies, engage in several of these activities. These big banks are very diversified groups that, among other services, also distribute insurance – hence the term bancassurance, a portmanteau wordcombining “banque or bank” and “assurance”, signifying that both banking and insurance are provided by the same corporate entity.

Other types of banks

  • Central banks are normally government-owned and charged with quasi-regulatory responsibilities, such as supervising commercial banks, or controlling the cash interest rate. They generally provide liquidity to the banking system and act as the lender of last resort in event of a crisis.
  • Islamic banks adhere to the concepts of Islamic law. This form of banking revolves around several well-established principles based on Islamic canons. All banking activities must avoid interest, a concept that is forbidden in Islam. Instead, the bank earns profit (markup) and fees on the financing facilities that it extends to customers.

 

Definition Of Banking

The definition of a bank varies from country to country. See the relevant country pages under for more information. Under English common law, a banker is defined as a person who carries on the business of banking, which is specified as:

  • conducting current accounts for his customers,
  • paying cheques drawn on him/her and
  • collecting cheques for his/her customers

In most common law jurisdictions there is a Bills of Exchange Act that codifies the law in relation tonegotiable instruments, including cheques, and this Act contains a statutory definition of the termbanker: banker includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not, who carry on the business of banking’ (Section 2, Interpretation). Although this definition seems circular, it is actually functional, because it ensures that the legal basis for bank transactions such as cheques does not depend on how the bank is structured or regulated.

The business of banking is in many English common law countries not defined by statute but by common law, the definition above. In other English common law jurisdictions there are statutory definitions of the business of banking or banking business. When looking at these definitions it is important to keep in mind that they are defining the business of banking for the purposes of the legislation, and not necessarily in general. In particular, most of the definitions are from legislation that has the purpose of regulating and supervising banks rather than regulating the actual business of banking. However, in many cases the statutory definition closely mirrors the common law one. Examples of statutory definitions:

  • “banking business” means the business of receiving money on current or deposit account, paying and collecting cheques drawn by or paid in by customers, the making of advances to customers, and includes such other business as the Authority may prescribe for the purposes of this Act; (Banking Act (Singapore), Section 2, Interpretation).
  • “banking business” means the business of either or both of the following:
  1. receiving from the general public money on current, deposit, savings or other similar account repayable on demand or within less than [3 months] or with a period of call or notice of less than that period;
  2. paying or collecting cheques drawn by or paid in by customers.

Since the advent of EFTPOS (Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale), direct credit, direct debit and internet banking, the cheque has lost its primacy in most banking systems as a payment instrument. This has led legal theorists to suggest that the cheque based definition should be broadened to include financial institutions that conduct current accounts for customers and enable customers to pay and be paid by third parties, even if they do not pay and collect cheques .