Factoring and Its Prospects in Financial Institutions of Bangladesh





Banks, as a service oriented commercial organization play a significant role in an economy by way of their intermediation process. Efficient, organized, diversified and viable banking system is necessary concomitant of economic and financial infrastructure of the economy. Banks, around the world are now engaged in multidimensional field of financial activity. In recent times banks intensified their efforts through various ancillary services like remittances, collection, safe custody of valuable, factoring etc, along with their basic traditional services such as deposit taking and lending.


People expect that banks are to provide all other related legitimate financial services as per, the demand for the people, which will improve the today’s pattern of business dealings and behavior of the banks.


Today, the bank management is facing two-faced challenge to improve their profitability on the one hand and to serve the public in newer ways. In this perspective, factoring services could be treated a profitable one in banks. Time has come for the banking financial institutions to explore its opportunity in providing this new line of financial service to its clients demanding for it.


To acquire EMBM degree every student of this Program of BIBM has to conduct a research work or dissertation, which carries out the proper weight age of the course in final term. In this regard, as a student of Bank Management, I have conducted a research work titled “Factoring and its prospects inBangladesh”.



q       To trace the evolutionary process of global factoring business and to provide conceptual details on factoring.

q        To illustrate the global scenario in the field of factoring services.

q       To highlight the current status and threats regarding factoring service inBangladesh.

q       To show the prospects of Factoring services in the Banking sector ofBangladeshand to provide due projection.


There are very little number of study on Factoring services conducted in the banking sector. My study has focused on the concept of Factoring, its prospects and problems related with the banking sector ofBangladesh. It will extend the existing knowledge of Factoring services in banking and I think, future researchers will be benefited from the study.



The study was made on the basis of the objectives mentioned above.

Source of Data:

Secondary data were used to predict the performance of Factoring services in the banking sector and forecast the future prospect.

Primary data were used in the form of informal interview to determine the problems and ways to solve those problems.


Data collection procedure:

Data from secondary sources were collected to provide a list of financial institutions (both in banking & non banking) those are managing factoring services in various nations.

Secondary data were collected to find out the nature of services they are providing.

The study conducted by extensive review of literature available in various libraries and collections such as various books, publications, periodicals and journals. The help of electronic media like- Internet was also used as per the need of the research.


Data processing and analysis:

Data was processed and analyzed manually, and with the aid of the computers. Suitable descriptive and relevant inferential statistical tools were also used.



q       The study deals with Bankers, Finance Executives, Exporters and Academicians. So the findings represent only the above four groups.

q       Factoring has been newly introduced in the financial sector ofBangladesh. So there is hardly any published literature on factoring services inBangladesh. In a nutshell factoring is a less heard concept inBangladeshtill now.

q       Time limitations are also a great factor for researching on such a new topic.



Numbers of literature have reviewed for the purpose of research proposal, which include books & articles. Most of the reviewed literatures are available in BIBM library and have taken from there. By reviewing the literatures, I have found different opinions on factoring which are given below:

Dr. B.L.MATHUR in his “Management of Financial Services” book said that Factoring is the arrangement in which the receivables arising out of sales of goods/services are sold to the factor as a result of which the title of goods represented by the said receivables pass on to the factor. Now, the factor becomes responsible for all credit control, sales accounting and debt collection from the buyers. If any debtors fails to pay the dues, the factor has to accept the losses as he, normally, has no recourse against his client, i.e. the supplier.

Factoring is a method whereby a business can obtain cash for invoices it sends to its customers for supply of goods. In other words, it is called “invoice-discounting”. It is different from the bill of exchange in the sense that no Bills of Exchanges are drawn by the business on its customers and the invoices from the basis for finance.

Another clear definition given by KALYAN SUNDARAMl C,S. is as “Factoring is a continuing legal relationship between financial institution and a business concern (the client) selling goods or providing services to trade customers (the customers) on open account basis whereby the factor purchases the clients’ book debts (account receivables), either with or without recourse to the client and in relation there to controls the credit extended to customers and administers the sales ledgers.

G.H DEOMLIR, opined that factoring involves the outright sale of accounts receivable. By such a sale, a c1ient (the exporter or manufacturer) transfers his ownership of the accounts to a factor: the factor buys all the clients outstanding invoices and takes over all the subsequent dealings with the buyer/importer (the customer).

Factoring deals with abort term debts. The factor will first assess the creditworthiness of the debtors (the customers). If he comes to a positive credit decision, he will bear the risk of the debtor’s financial ability to pay at due date the account receivable up to a given limit. Based on his credit approval, the factor will make an immediate advance payment to the dent i.e. before due date of the invoices, usually up to 90 % of the invoice value. The dent pays a commission for the advance payment interests and for the factors service­ usually a flat rate which is related with the nature of the transaction in question, i.e. the number of accounts receivable, the number of invoices to each debtor per year, the perceived risk, and the country to which the goods are being delivered. InEurope, commission levels will vary from 1 to 2.5 percent.

According to the FACTOR CHAIN INTERNATIONAL (FCI), Factoring is a complete financial package that combines credit protection, accounts receivable bookkeeping, and collection services. It is an agreement between the factor and a seller. Under the agreement, the factor purchases the seller’s accounts receivable, normally without recourse, and assumes the responsibility for the debtor’s financial ability to pay. If the debtor goes bankrupt or is unable to pay its debts for credit reasons, the factor will pay the seller. When the seller and the buyer are in different countries the service is called international factoring.

A. N. ROY showed the following features of factoring service:

•Maintenance of complete record of sales ledger accounting. This may

include even dispatch of statement to debtors and follow up.

•Maintenance of complete record of the customers of the company.

•Full protection to the client against bad debts arising out of insolvency.

•Collection of money from the customers on the settlement day. This money

is nothing but arrears arising out of invoiced debts purchased by the factor

from his trading client, in case of “non recourse” factoring, the factor

accepts the loss due to bad debts without recourse to the client.

• Responsibility for all credit control, sales accounting and debt collection.






The term ‘Factor’ has its origin from the Latin word ‘facere’ meaning to make or do, i.e., to get things done. The dictionary defines a Factor as an agent, particularly a mercantile agent. Factoring has a long and fascinating history, which traces back through several centuries. In the early stages, Factors were itinerant merchants who were entrusted with merchandise belonging to others. They were the ‘middlemen’ between countries that had fairly advanced economies and the countries, which were still in the early stages of development. It is interesting to note that factoring in one form or other was involved in much of the world’s commerce.


The growth of factoring, in a fairly recognizable form, took place in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, with the advent of the period of exploration and colonization byGreat Britain,FranceandSpain. When the mother countries started shipping goods, in ever increasing quantities, to the settlements under their control in foreign lands, the Factors arranged for the sale and distribution of these goods and became the local representatives of the manufacturers and merchants from the mother country. Initially, they maintained extensive storage facilities to the merchandise received by them from abroad and made arrangements for the cartage of such merchandise to customers throughout their respective territories; the Factor’s principal function then was to sell such merchandise on the best terms. The Factors did not own the merchandise but were responsible for its safekeeping, as well as for the proceeds they received upon its sale. In course of time, the Factors prospered and grew in economic strength. To the earlier services rendered to their foreign principals, they added the practice of making advance payments to their principals against the security of the merchandise in their possession. The Factors also obtained information relating to local customers (which could not be transmitted in good time to the principals abroad) and assumed the risk of losses; in case they were unable to collect the amounts owing from such customers. Thus, the Factor substituted itself as a debtor of high credit standing for any individual customers of uncertain credit worthiness, from whom the principal, otherwise, would have had to collect the amounts due, individually.

During the later years of the nineteenth century and the early years of the present century, the storage, selling and general merchandising functions performed by the Factors were gradually replaced by financing, credit and collection functions which were found to be of greater value by their various clients.

Around the turn of the last century, factoring was also extended to domestic sales; at the same time, the role of Factors in international trade became less prominent. Those Factors who offered financial services came to be known as ‘delcredere’ Factors. Their services involved advancing money on the security of accounts receivable, collecting the debts, and assuming the credit risk. As the actors shed the role of merchandise agents and took on ‘del credere’ responsibilities, the relationship between the Factors and the parties with whom they dealt also changed inasmuch as it was no longer one of principal and agent but one of an independent financial organization offering services to manufacturing concerns which were known as ‘clients’.

Factoring as practiced currently involves such a relationship and although there is little resemblance between the manners in which factoring is conducted today and the activities of the general Factors a few centuries ago, an impressive Link with the past does exist.

Factors in theU.S.A.have traditionally operated in textile industry and have gradually extended to apparel industry, as also some consumer goods industries. The Factors there rely on their in-depth knowledge of the practices and position of the concerned industries and have been slow to move into new fields. They have also built up, over a period, comprehensive information about credit worthiness, up-to-date financial position, record of dealings, etc., of thousands of sellers/buyers in these industries, which forms the basis for approval of credit limits of various parties. Services rendered by a Factor are tailored to suit the clients’ requirements. To some of the clients, the Factors provide only such services as management of sales ledgers, collection of debts and protection against bad debts, without providing any finance.




In the absence of any uniform codified law, the term factoring has been defined in various countries in different ways depending on the discretion of legal framework as well as trade usage and convention of the individual country. Many efforts have been made to arrive at a consensus regarding uniform meaning and defining a well laid scope for such a type of service contract.

However, the first attempt was made in theUSAto define the tam ‘factoring’ in a more organized and systematic manner. The definition given by theUSlaws is as follows:

A continuing arrangement between a factoring concern and the seller of goods or services on open account, pursuant to which the factor performs the following services with respect to the accounts receivable arising from sates of such goods or services:

1)        Purchases all accounts receivable for immediate cash;

2)        Maintains the sales ledgers and performs the other book-keeping duties relating to such accounts receivable;

3)        Collects the accounts receivable;

4)        Assumes the tosses, which may arise from any customer s financial inability to pay (Credit loss)

5)        Provides further funds on a seasonal and term basis, which are either unsecured or secured,

6)        Assists in advisory services, marketing surveys, management and production   counseling, and data processing services (See, Moore 1959, P- 705-706)

Generally factoring refers to the outright purchase of credit approved accounts receivables, with the Factor assuming bad debt losses.

The Unidroit Convention on International Factoring held inOttawa,Canada, in May 1988, has defined ‘Factoring’ as a contract concluded between one party (the supplier) and another party (the Factor) pursuant to which:

(i) The supplier may or will assign, to the Factor, receivables arising from contracts of sales of goods made between the supplier and its customers (debtors) other than those for the sale of goods bought primarily for their personal, family or household use.

(ii) The Factor is to perform at least two of the following functions:

a) Finance for the supplier, including loans and advance payments;

b) Maintenance of accounts (ledgering relating to the receivables);

c) Collection of receivables and

d) Protection against default in payment by debtors;

(iii) Notice of the assignment of the receivables is to be given to debtors.

The concept of factoring can be traced back to theRoman Empire. Wealthy Romans employed others to manage their accounts and issue promissory notes at a discount. The most common form of modern factoring is consumer-based, and fits conveniently into a wallet-the credit card. Commercial factoring is an alternative to conventional lines of credit. A factor is a source of funding as well as a financial service. Funding, credit management, collections, bookkeeping, data processing, invoice mailing and business guidance are all available through factoring.

Factoring is a simple form of Commercial Finance in which a Small Business, which can’t qualify for more conventional financing, sells its accounts receivable (invoices), representing money due from its business/governmental customers for the sale of its goods and/or services, to a “Factor” or Factoring company, at a discount from face value so that it does not have to wait the normal 30-90 days for its invoices to be paid. In short, Factoring helps a Small Business Speed Up its Cash Flow, thereby enabling it to more readily pay its current obligations and grow.

Some people defined factoring as the purchasing of accounts receivable, in the form of invoices, at a discount from their face value.


Westlake (1975, P-1) defined, “Factoring is a device of transforming a nonproductive, inactive asset (i.e. book debts) into a productive asset (viz. cash) by selling book debts (receivables) to a company that specializes in book debt collection and administration”.

Kalyanasundaram Committee (1988), in the report submitted to the RBI, defines, -Factoring as the outright purchase of credit approved accounts receivable with the factor assuming bad debt losses”

A more descriptive definition of factoring is that it is a financing tool that provides the business with immediate working capital, without creating debt or forcing to give up equity in the company.

In another way, Factoring is a process of invoice discounting by which an external Financing/Leasing/Capital market agency purchases all trade debts, offers additional resources to the corporate account and, in turn, takes upon the recovery of trade dues.

Factoring is said to be a continuing legal relationship between a financial institution (the ‘Factor’) and a business concern (the ‘client’) selling goods or providing services to trade customers (the ‘customers’) on open account basis whereby the Factor purchases the client’s book debts (account receivables), either with or without recourse to the client and in relation thereto controls the credit extended to customers and administers the sales ledgers.


Factoring a sort of suppliers’ credit is understood by the services an agent renders to its principals by managing the letters sales ledger realizing the book debts of bills receivables against a pre-determined commission known as commercial charges.

For example, the manufacturer or trader sells the goods directly or through agent and advices the details of the sale to the factor to realize the credits. Thus, the factors responsibility is contractual with the privities of contract with the seller. Depending upon the terms of the contract, the factor may assume risk for nonpayment by the customer also. The need for factor services is felt in view of expending sales by the manufacturer supplier so as to manage the sales realization by minimizing risk for non realization and without waiting for realization of book debts. Thus, reducing dependence upon bank credit for working capital requirements.


The main elements of factoring can be grouped in the following three broad categories:

1. Administration

2. Credit protection

3. Factor financing

1. Administration:

•        The entire sales ledger administration responsibility of the clients gets transferred to the factor. This is primarily to:

•        Ensure that invoices raised represent genuine trade transactions in respect of goods sold or services provided.

•     Maintain sales ledger of the client in a scientific manner, updated with latest invoices raised and cash received. This sales ledger should preferably be maintained in an open item system, which shows all the outstanding invoices and unallocated cash.

•        Ensure that monthly statements are sent to the debtors. Efforts are being made to collect the dues on due dates through an efficient machinery of personal contacts, issuance of reminders, telephone messages, etc.

•        Remit the retention to the clients after collection of the dues. Where factoring is operating in Fixed Maturity Period (FMP) basis, the factor is to ensure that the client is paid the retention money at the expiry of the said period.

•        Have close liaison with the client and the customers to resolve trous disputes raised in respect of quantity or quality of the goods/services supplied besides the unauthorized discounts claimed or deducted by the debtors while making payment.

•        Keep the unallocated credits to the minimum.

•        Review the financial strength of the debtors at constant periodic intervals to ensure collectibility of debts.

2. Credit Protection:


Just as the large factoring companies have the resource to manage sales ledger in an efficient, large-scale operation, so they have the facilities for credit intelligence to enable them to assess credit risks and advise their clients accordingly. Indeed, debt protection is now an essential feature of factoring because, as we have said, it involves the purchase by the factor of the client’s entire turnover of trade debts. In the comparatively rare instances of “with recourse factoring” the risk of bad debts remains with the client, but in a more typical “without recourse” relationship the factor assumes the credit risk and therefore the entire responsibility for credit control. The extent of credit allowed by the client to individual customers will be approved by the factor and the monitoring of that customer’s account will become part of the factor’s day-to-day operation. The pursuit of outstanding debts may require careful handling, particularly if the customer is an important supplier of the factor’s client. The factor is unlikely to take any precipitate action without consultation with the client and it may be in some cases that the client will assume the risk rather than see his customer sued. In the last resort, however, the decision to take legal action will be that of the factor to whom ownership of the debt has passed. The assessment of credit risk is something at which the factor company will normally be much more expert than the client. When taking on a new client, the factor will examine the sales ledger closely and will not take on the responsibility for any debts, which look “doubtful”. A factoring house is not a debt collection agency and it cannot turn bad debts into good ones. What the factor does offer is credit control conducted in a very professional way from the outset of the client-factor relationship.


3. Factor Financing:  

The third major elements of the factoring role, although not an essential one, are the advancement of funds to the client against the debts, which the factor has purchased. In this way the client turns a future debt into immediate cash. In earlier days the discounting of one’s debts was looked upon as the last resort of a bankrupt trader- rather like taking one’s watch to the pawnbroker, it was this attitude perhaps which gave a bad name to factoring, or more correctly invoice discounting, because in many instances it was not a factoring operation. However, in more enlightened times it is recognized that book debts are as important an asset as any other and in some instances, such as companies with a very large turnover but few tangible assets, the book debts will form the principal asset. We have said that the essence of factoring is the purchase by the factor of the entire turnover of the trading operation. If payment is made by the factor to the client as and when the debts mature, there is no element of financing. The factor is providing a sales accounting and credit insurance facility, as explained above. In most cases, however, the factor will be willing to advance a portion, say 80 to 90 percent, of the outstanding debts ahead of the maturity dates. In such instances, the factoring operation becomes an additional source of finance for the client. The factor will charge interest on the funds advanced, probably at a rate of between 2-4 percent over bank base rate. The suitability of this form of finance will depend, as with any financing operation, on the nature of the business and the purpose for which the money is used. For obvious reasons it would be quite unsuitable to finance long-term capital needs from the factoring of trade debts. On the other hand, if an advance from a factor will permit substantial discounts to be obtained from trade creditors; this could be a profitable operation. In other cases, factor finance (because it increases the availability of working capital) might enable a company to make use of spare capacity or otherwise expand turnover.



The arrangement between the clients and the factor primarily depends upon the needs of the clients. This could be either financing or sales ledger administration or collection of debts or credit risk coverage, etc. or all together. The type of factoring arrangement concluded at a given time depends upon the following criteria: client’s needs, nature and volume of client’s business and financial strength, type of business, cost of the services, etc. The different types of factoring arrangements prescribed by a factor can be classified as per Chart 2.1.


Full Service Factoring/Non-Recourse Factoring:

This form of factoring is also sometimes known as ‘old line or standard factoring’. This is the most comprehensive form of factoring combining the ingredients of almost all the factoring services. It offers finance against book-debts, undertakes sales ledger administration including collection of the debts and assumes the credit risks against bad debts. However, it cannot prudently accept jumbo risks even with respect to customers who are apparently sound. The assumption of credit risks covers only defaults in payment arising from financial inability or insolvency of the customer. The defaulted debts resulting from disputed qualitative aspects of goods/services supplied will be reassigned or debited to the client.

Non recourse factoring is most suited to situations where: (a) amount involved per customer is relatively substantial and financial failure can jeopardize the client’s business severely; (b) there are a large number of customers of whom the client cannot have personal knowledge; and (c) client prefers to obtain 100 per cent cover under factoring rather than take insurance policy (Pandey 1994, p.39). This type of factoring Is quite popular in most of the developed countries in the world includingUSAandUK. The share of the ‘non recourse factoring’ in the total world domestic factoring under FCI is 54.35 per cent (Press information 1998, FCI, P.3). Strong argument in favor of ‘without recourse factoring’ is that the real role of factoring is to take the credit risk, which is taken up by this type of factoring. However, some forms of sales namely of non-proven products, contracting and building industries, and capital goods may face considerable problems under ‘without recourse factoring’.

Recourse factoring:


In this method of factoring, the factor provides all types of factoring services except assumption of credit risk of the debts. The client has no indemnity against uncollected debts. If the customer of factor’s client makes default iii payment of the debt on maturity for any reason, the factor is entitled to recover from the client the amount advanced against such debts. This type of factoring is preferred when customers are wide spread and relatively low amount per customer is involved or when the client is selling the high-risk customer. Maximum countries, particularly developing countries, practice recourse factoring because it is not easy to obtain credit information, and the cost of bad debt protection is also very high.

Bulk factoring:

Bulk factoring provides finance to the client but no administrative or protection service. However, it includes notification to the customers calling upon them to pay the dues direct to the factor. The arrangement serves the purpose of purely financing the trade credit requirements of the client. The service provided is, therefore, no more than that obtained by means of invoice discounting.

Maturity factoring:

This form of factoring is also sometimes known as ‘collection factoring’. Under this arrangement, services provided are purely administrative. The factoring company: 1) monitors and maintains the sales ledgers; 2) issues and dispatches the invoices; 3) collects the debts on due date. Finance is not prepaid by the factor. 11 factor otherwise pays the factored amount to the client only after the respective debt is collected from the customer at the end of the credit term or on an agreed maturity date which could be different from the actual due date for payment. The main duty of a factor is to make sure that the customers pay debts by the due dates. Collection efficiency can make sure to recover collections before maturity. In such a situation, the factor enjoys the additional float of funds on early collections along with an extra income from factoring services. Maturity factoring could be either with recourse or without recourse. In case of without recourse factoring, factored amount will be paid to the client at the end of the credit term or on the agreed maturity date irrespective of whether the factor has been able to collect the debt or not. If the customer becomes insolvent, payment will be made to the client even before maturity on proof of the customer’s insolvency. Clients with sound financial condition and liquidity may prefer maturity factoring.



Availability of finance Protectionagainst baddebts Notices to debtors Sales ledger administration Collection
 Full service A A A A A
 Recourse factoring A N A A A
Bulk factoring A N A N N
 Maturity factoring N A A A A
Agency factoring A s U S N
Invoice factoring A N N   N N
Undisclosed factoring A S N N N


q       Any form, which includes this element, may be referred to as “non recourse factoring”.

Here;          A = Always provided

U = Usually provided

S = Sometimes provided

N = Never or rarely provided


Source: Deolalkar, G.H. and Joshi, S.N.(1994), Report on FCI Marketing Seminar on International Factoring held in Singapore,Bombay: SBI Factors and Commercial Services Limited, p.3.


Agency factoring:

This form of factoring always extends finance against book debts, and sometimes protection against bad debts is available and besides administration of sales ledger is taken up The collection of book debts is always undertaken by the client It usually includes informing the customer to pay directly to the factor Companies, which have good system of credit administration but need finances, prefer this form of factoring.


Invoice discounting:

Invoice discounting is another important service just like financing against invoices without assuming any other responsibility. The factor purchases all or selected invoices of the client. The client himself looks after all the other works relating to sales ledger administration and debt collection. The customer is not aware in this case that the client is availing any factoring facility. In this arrangement, the client is able to tide over his liquidity problems by availing of the advance against invoice without having to commit him to a regular factoring arrangement.


Undisclosed factoring:

In ‘undisclosed factoring’, the customers are not informed about the factoring arrangements subsisting between the factor and the client, it is also known as non-notification factoring. Under this type of factoring, debts arc assigned to the factor but the client maintains the sales ledger. The client who makes over the payment to the factor collects the debt. Moreover, the client keeps a close watch over all such factored debts, and the factor inspects the client’s sales ledger at regular intervals. Undisclosed factoring is the most risky proposition where one has to be careful in exercising continuous watch over the credit worthiness of both the clients and the customers. This type of factoring is available in theU.K., of course, extended to financially strong companies.

If the arrangement is for full factoring, a client is obliged to factor his entire turnover and if it is only for particular debtors, all invoices drawn on those debtors need only be assigned to the factor. In both the cases, it is not in the interest of the factoring company to keep the client completely free to decide whose and what to assign to die factor, as there may lie inherent risk to die factor who does not generally hold any other tangible security. In theUK, the client must offer all debtors to the factor for factoring the debts and they draw up a very exhaustive factoring contract to firm up the relationship.



The deemed services of factors are sales ledger administration, collection integrated with credit management and protection against bad debts, together with a financial facility that expands directly in line with sales.

Factors undertake responsibilities for client’s sales ledgers, dispatch of statements promptly, communicating firmly with slow paying customers and solving any queries or difficulties that may arise in normal course of action. The client is kept apprised of developments at all times.

Though delegating these tasks to a factor, trading/ manufacturing organizations not only eliminate the dangers inherent in poor sales accounting, but also save the cost of maintaining in house sales accounting administration.

There are various types of factoring services. The main functions of a factor can be grouped under the following broad categories:


This is a specialized function of a factor. Three types of factoring, namely, full factoring; maturity factoring and recourse factoring provide the service. This service involves recovering the amounts due, after the buyers have accepted the goods. It includes such services like sending invoices, urgent telegraphic communication, reminders, legal notices, making provision for doubtful debts and finally writing off bad debts. In the buyer-oriented market, this service relieves the seller of getting funds that are locked up in book debts released.



The finance facility is usually regarded as the prime services of a factor. All types of factoring, except maturity factoring, provide this service. It enables a client to draw up to an agreed percentage-usually 80 percent minus commission on maturity of the value of the invoices passed on to the factor. Where there is no dispute over the delivery terms and quality & quantity of delivered goods according to the customers order, full amount is also paid. But if receivables are small and spread over a period of time, factors follow conservative principle. Hence factors act as service provides of short-term funds.

Credit management:

Credit management is an area where factors provide integral services. By means of their expertise and acumen, they are in a position to assess the creditworthiness of buyers through their active relationship with numerous customers. Credit service is one of the important functions of a factor. ‘Maturity factoring’ & ‘Without recourse factoring’ always provide this service and ‘Agency factoring’ & ‘Undisclosed factoring’ also sometimes provide this service. This service is regarded as the assumption of credit protection as well as the determination of credit status more expeditiously and more efficiently. It involves gathering of information on potential and existing customers, screening them for credit purposes, rating customers on their credit worthiness and the formulation of credit policy, such as credit period, the rebate for prompt payment and penalties for delays, and finally, actual decision on whom to sell, and on credit lines to be given on individual customers.

Advisory service:

These include (a) providing information on prospective buyers, (b) providing financial counseling, (c) assisting the client in managing liquidity and preventing sickness and (d) providing facilities for opening letters of credit by the client, etc. Many small and medium size clients can be benefited greatly by advices on these aspects to gain economies of scale to offset the cost of factoring.

Book- keeping service:

Under this the factor takes over all the functions relating to the maintenance of the sales ledger. Full service factoring, recourse factoring and bulk factoring always and agency factoring sometimes provide this service. The factor sends monthly statements of accounts and informs the client about overdue accounts. For this the factor employs the most efficient business machines, modern book keeping systems and highly trained clerical personnel because the factor handles millions of invoices, credit memoranda and cash payments each year on behalf of its numerous clients.
Other facilities:

The factor also stands ready to make temporary or seasonal advances or term loans. For various useful purposes, these facilities are popular in theUSA. These loans are made on a secured or unsecured basis depending upon the financial position of the client.

** All the basic services provided by a factor can also be obtained individually from various sources. For instance, computer agencies can provide sales ledger accounting facilities. Commercial banks provide finance against receivables in various forms like purchasing, discounting of bills &granting overdraft and cash credit against book debts. The collection function is also performed by collection agencies in advanced countries, where special credit companies also exist to underwrite credit risks. But what is unique about factoring is that a factor brings all these services together in one single and convenient package.


The prerequisite for factoring operations is of course, the establishment of factoring relationship between the clients and the factor. A factor is a purchaser of book debts for cash both in the domestic and international factoring.


Credit sales generate the factoring business in ordinary course of business dealings.
Realization of credit sales is the main function of factoring services. Once sales transaction
is completed the factors steps in and takes course to realize the sales. Thus, factor works
between the seller and the buyer.

The interaction between the different parties of domestic factoring and flow of information between them is summarized below:

The buyer:

a)     Buyer negotiates terms of purchasing plant and machinery or other material with the seller.

b)           Buyer receives delivery of goods with invoice and instructions by the seller to make payment to the factor on due dates.

c)     Buyer makes payment to factor in time or gets extension of time or in the case of default is subject to legal process at the hands of factor.

The seller:

a)     Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the buyer in the form of letter exchanged between them or agreement entered into between them.

b)            Sells goods to the buyer as per MOU.

c)     Delivers copies of invoice, delivery challan, MOU, instructions to make payment to factor given to buyer.

d)           Seller receives 80% or more payment in advance from factor on selling the receivables from the buyer to him.

e)           Seller receives balance payment from factor after deduction of factors service charges, etc.

The factor:

a)          The factor enters into agreement with seller for rendering factor services to it

b)    On receipt of copies of sale documents as referred to above makes payment to the seller up to a specific percent (say 80-90%) of the price of the debt. The amount of reasonable reserve / margin may primarily depend upon the following factors:

  • Finished goods that may be returned.
  • Any claim that may be made against the client by a customer.
  • Standing of the seller / buyer.
  • Terms of payments.

c)          The factor receives payment from the buyer on due dates and remits the money to seller after usual deductions.

d)    The factor also ensures that the following conditions should be met to give full effect to the factoring arrangements:

  1. The invoice, bills or other documents drawn by seller should contain a clause that these payments arising out of the transaction as referred to or mentioned therein might be factored
  2. The seller should confirm in writing to factor that all the payments arising out of  these bills are free from any encumbrances, charge, lien, pledge, hypothecation or mortgage or right of set-off or counter claim from another, etc.
  3. The seller should execute a deed of assignment in favor of factor to enable the letter to recover the payment at the time or after default.
  4. The seller should confirm by a letter of confirmation that all conditions to sell-buy contract between the buyer and him have been compiled with and the transaction is complete.


b) Mechanism of International Factoring:

When the seller and the buyer are in different countries the service is called international factoring. International factoring works on a correspondent system where export factors sub-contract part of their services to a factor in the importer’s country. Here, the communication channels are between the four i.e. (a) export supplier, (b) export factor, (c) import factor & (d) customer importer as against the three parties in domestic factoring. The import factor provides a link between export factor and the importer and serves to solve the international barriers like language problem, legal formalities, etc. Besides, he underwrites customers trade credit risk, collects receivables and transfers funds to the exporter-factor in the currency of the invoice, the communication flow between these parties in international or cross border factoring is given below.

The flow of documents and information as shown in above figures takes the following shape:

a)          The exporter in Nation A informs the export factor to export goods to a particular import-client in Nation B.

b)          The export factor in Nation A writes to import factor in Nation B and enquires of the creditworthiness, reputation, etc. of the importer.

c)          On getting satisfactory information from the import factor (Nation B) the exporter delivers goods and raises the invoice a copy of which is given to export factor.

d)          The export factor prepares the invoice and a further copy of the invoice is sent to import factor.

e)          The import factor collects the payment from the importer and pays the export factor in the currency of invoice.

International factors provide a non-recourse factoring service. Clients have cent percent protection against bad debt loss in credit-approved sales. The factors tale requisite assistance and avail facilities provided in the exporting nation for promoting exports. Factor handles exporters’ credit management and collections, multi-currency sales accounting and provides regular management reports to him. Factor services cover exporters’ overseas sales on credit terms. In fact, factor becomes the sole debtor to exporter once documentation is complete and goods have been shipped. After shipment, the exporter sends copies of the invoices to the factor that assumes responsibility for the collection of amounts due and accepts the credit risk in approved accounts. Fee for factoring services range between 0.5 % to 2.5 % depending upon the nature of the ledger, the number of invoices and their value. Banks have moved in and now render factoring services and serve as correspondents.  .

Factoring Example:

The ABC Company delivers $1,000 worth of product to a customer, sends out an invoice with payment due in 30 days, and then waits for the customer to pay. Thirty days later, the customer (hopefully) remits payment, whereupon ABC finally has the money it actually earned one month earlier.

Shortly thereafter, ABC decides to use the services of a factor. The factoring terms they agree upon are a 70% advance, and a 5% fee, or discount. As before, ABC delivers $1,000 worth of product to the customer, and produces an invoice with 30-day terms, it then sends the invoice to the customer, with a notation that payment is to be rendered to the factor. A copy of this invoice is also sent to the factoring company.

Upon receiving the invoice, the factor verifies with ABC’s customer that the product was received and accepted, and that payment will be sent to the factor when the invoice comes due. Once this is done the factor advances 70% or $700 of the invoice amount to ABC, Then warts for ABC’s customer to pay it the full $1,000.

One month later, the customer remits the $1,000 to the factoring company. After receiving this money, the factor retains the agreed-upon 5% ($50 in this example) for its fee, and releases the remaining 25% (the reserve) back to ABC. The process is now complete.

When all is said and done, ABC has received 95% ($950) o1 the $1,000 invoice: $700 from the advance and $250 from the reserve, with the remaining 5% ($50) being retained by the factor.


Factoring contract is like any other sale-purchase agreement regulated under the law of contract. The main terms and conditions of factoring which are included in the agreement to be entered into between the supplier and factor are precisely listed below:

  1. Assignment of debt in favor of factor.
    1. Selling limits and the conditions with which the factor will have no recourse to the supplier on non- payment from the customer and in what circumstances the factor will turn to recourse to the supplier.
    2. Selling out details of the payment to the factor for his services known as service charge or commission charge, which is usually a percentage on turnover.
    3. Selling out details of the interest to be allowed to the factor on the accounts where credit has been allowed/ to be allowed to the supplier. The rate of interest is to vary depending upon the money market conditions and is commonly fixed above the base rate so as to give a better margin to the factor.
    4. Agreement should set the limit of any overdraft by the supplier and the rate of interest to be charged by the factor on such overdrafts.
    5. The agreement should specify that the amount to be paid by the factor to the supplier should be net of the service charge.
    6. The percentage of the amount of the invoice value to be received from the factor by the supplier is specified in the agreement. Usually, about 80% of the invoice value of the amount is provided by the factor to the supplier.
    7. Specific schedule be provided in the agreement setting out special terms for the factor to handle accounts of different customers.



The costing of factoring is a major aspect that has to be dealt with carefully. Charges of factoring should be kept as minimum as possible so that it becomes an attractive proposition for the industrial enterprises. Many experts classify the factoring cost into two categories, i.e.,

I.   Commission: this may be charged for performing the collection function and for purchasing the firm’s receivables without recourse to the drawer for future credit losses. II.   Services & interest charges: the service charges are charged for providing instant credit, without waiting for realization of receivables.

The major determinants of factoring charges can be listed as follows:

i)   Type of industry.

ii)  Volume of sales.

iii) Average annual safes.

iv) Credit rating of the customer.

v)       Quality of the accounts receivables.


Factoring of the commercial debt is a fast growing significant service to the world business community. It is getting popularity at an impressive rate in both the domestic and international trade. Factoring actually goes a long way to help the borrowers to improve their financial discipline and to serve as a catalyst for expansion and growth of industrial and business units. All the advantages of factoring cannot be shown in a discussion of this kind, because different types of companies require different applications of factoring.

Advantages of domestic factoring:


The domestic factoring dominates the market share in the total factoring business. Benefits derived from domestic factoring have been described here tinder two contexts namely direct benefits and indirect benefits.


Direct benefits


The direct benefits that factoring brings are best illustrated as shown in the income statement and balance sheet of a client.


Effects on Income Statement:

The real benefits get reflected in the income statement. The saving, which accrues from the services, would enhance the profitability of the firm. The benefits of factoring reflected in income statement can be analyzed in the following ways:

Reduction in administration expenses:

The factor performs some basic functions like administration of client’s sales ledger, credit control, collection of dues, etc. He can, thus, have the benefit of reduced overheads, on this count by way of saving in salary expenses, stationery, postage, telephone, and overheads of various departments.

Reduction in bad debts loss:

Under ‘without recourse factoring’, the client’s credit losses are ed to the factor. The factor makes credit assessment expeditiously. In addition to certain coverage of credit loss, the client is, thus, relieved of expenses of maintaining credit department and of collecting credit information.

Getting benefits of lower price, trade discount, and cash discount, etc:

Steady and reliable cash flow enables the client to honor its obligation without any delay. Factoring helps the client to get some facilities like taking cash discount for prompt payment and trade discounts for bulk purchases, ordering for materials at the right time and at the right place, executing production schedule as planned, taking longer credit period from suppliers, and having better market standing These result in reduction of cost of material of the client’s firm.

Reducing the working capital needs:

Factoring is best applied to the normal trade and production cycle i.e. purchases, stocks, manufacturing, and sales It helps the client to avoid disruption in the production schedule due to bottlenecks in the smooth flow of critical raw materials, etc This reduces he operating cycle period, resulting in the reduction of working capital needs. This saves the interest on working capital.


 lndirect benefit:

In addition to these direct benefits as stated above, factoring also offers many incidental and indirect benefits. The following are the incidental and indirect benefits flowing from factoring.



Management time and energy saved:

By shifting the function of credit control, sales ledger administration, and debt collection problem, the client saves time and energy. They can concentrate more on managerial functions like planning, organizing, controlling, etc. Better planning improves quality and marketability of the products, morale of the employees and excellence in the performance.

Improved efficiency:

Factoring is designed to place small and medium sized units on the same level of efficiency in the areas of credit control and sales ledger administration like most sophisticated large companies. Factoring does this at a reasonable cost. Moreover, the factor on account of his experience and specialization, advises the firm on critical areas like product design, production method, product mix, marketing mix, machinery replacement, technology, etc. These advices go a long way in improving efficiency.

Higher credit standing:

Dandekar (1991, p. 128) has mentioned four reasons why a client’s credit standing improves: (a) in the case of ‘without recourse factoring’, the factor’s assumption of credit risk replaces the credit responsibility of the client’s customers of varying credit strength; (b) ‘Without recourse factoring’ also enables the client to minimize bad debts reserve; (c) with cash flow accelerated by factoring, the client is able to meet the liabilities promptly as and when these fall due; and (d) the factor’s acceptance of a client’s receivables for factoring itself speaks well of the quality of his receivables. This can also increase the client’s credit rating because of the client’s higher credit standing with the factor.

Increased turnover:

Much important is the opportunity of incremental sales, which can be achieved because of an increased working capital. Moreover, since the factor has access to almost unlimited credit information, the factor may be willing to accept new or higher credit risks over that which the client individually may not be willing to accept.

Relationship between the customer and the client:

The relationship could be jeopardized in any possible way. Factoring can enhance this relationship. Since the factor is responsible for accumulating credit data and for collections, the clients relationship with their customers remains excellent even if the customers are unable to make payments when due.

Expansion of the business:

The factor enables a company to get on with its profitable and predictable expansion without the inherent worries of ‘where does the next cash come from?’ and how do we collect our money to get on with the jobs?


Advantages of international factoring:

In international factoring, there are always two parties other than the exporter and importer namely the export factor and the import factor. The role of the factoring organization is likely to alternate between as export factor and import factor, depending on the nature of transactions. The distinct advantages over other methods of finance can be summarized as follows:

Flexible form of finance and predictability of cash flows:

It provides an immediate finance up to a certain percentage of the eligible export receivables. This prepayment facility is available without letters of credit — simply on the strength of the invoices representing shipment of goods. Moreover, bad debt protection up to full extent on all approved sales to identified debtors ensures reliable predictability of cash flows

Healthier customer portfolio:

The factor checks all the prospective debtors in importing countries. They do it through limit own database or by taking assistance from their counterparts in importing countries known as import factors or established credit rating agencies. Hence, the exporter can be sure that he has healthier customer’s portfolio.

Efficient communication and prompt collection:

The factors maintain efficient and fast communication with import factors as well as importers. They do this through letters, telex, fax, e-mail and telephone or in person in the buyer s language and in line with the national business practices. The prompt payment is, thus, handled in a diplomatic and efficient manner.

Maintenance of multi-currency sales ledger:

Factor provides a multi-currency sales ledgering system. It enables local exporters to keep track of their sales in various currencies.

Hedge against foreign exchange fluctuations:

Factor can arrange for appropriate forward exchange covers to protect the exporters against currency fluctuations.



Bills discounting/ invoice discounting is a means whereby firms with short-term cash problem can improve liquidity by obtaining cash against bills / invoices commonly up to 80 per cent of value of the accounts receivable, Here, the accounts receivable are pledged to the financing institutions, the customers are not notified of this transfer, and the business concerns collect the amount from customers and turn over to the lender all amounts which they receive on the pledged accounts receivable. To the business concern where requirements are exclusively of financial nature and who is either not eligible for banks’ loans or can obtain it in only limited amounts, bill discounting might well prove to be the most desirable method of financing to employ.

Factoring is somewhat similar to bills discounting in the sense that both these services provide short-term finance. Both of them discount accounts receivable, which the clients would have otherwise received from the buyer at the end of the credit period. However these two receivables financing arrangements also differ in important respects.

Despite growth of factoring some people still feel that there is a requirement for bills discounting. The prime advantages are:

1. Confidentiality: Bills discounting avoids the notification to the customers. The client’s customer remains unaware of the presence of an invoice discounter.

2. Flexibility: The client can look after his own sales ledger and select suitable invoices for discounting only when finds position necessitates this action

3. Costs: The client incurs charges only when the invoices are discounted to obtain finance. The policy is “no payment – no charge”.


EDIFACT (Electronic Data Interchange for Administration, Commerce and Transport) is a universal set of standards and guidelines for communication by electronic data interchange. It was organized m 1985 as a result of cooperation between the North American and European standards organizations. The United Nations Organization adopts EDIFACT as the preferred method of EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) and it is the only true; worldwide, open global communication standard, and available in any part of the world to the organization, which wishes to use it. Anticipating the widespread use of EDIFACT, FCI decided in 1990 to monitor closely the trends in trade information exchanges so that the factors could continue to handle information in an optimal manner in the coming paperless environment. Thus, the EDIFACToring project was born (Deolalkar 1997, p. 16). It links with correspondent factors across the globe through satellite. The scope of EDIFACToring covers factoring communications at large: domestic factoring, international factoring, factors, sellers, debtors and banks. InIndia, SB! Factors and Commercial Services Limited, and Foremost Factors Limited have adopted EDIFACToring system (Foreign Trade- trends and Tidings 1998, p.22).

By adopting the EDlFACToring system, factors gain both in the domestic and international factoring markets. Factors make the communication standards and guidelines available to their clients and help them to implement the EDIFACT environment in their organizations. That, in turn, is able to approach large purchasing organizations and become more competitive in their pricing by cutting administration and organization costs. Moreover, in an environment where sellers and buyers exchange their communications by standard EDIFACT message (purchase order, invoice, payment and remittance), it is unthinkable for a factor to request for paper invoices

Business features of EDIFACToring:

The business features of EDIFACToring include the following:

1. All messages of EDIFACToring are customized for sending and receiving all factoring transactions.

2. EDIFACToring system includes gateways to all important private and public telecommunication networks and includes most of the common communications protocols. This feature allows each member of FC to select the most appropriate network with each partner, based on consideration of cost.




Factoring is much more in use in the developed nations for the reasons viz, (a) it facilitates systematically liquidification into cash of the bills/accounts receivable; (b) it reduces investment in accounts/receivables and accelerates the turnover of accounts receivables; (c) in other words, factoring enables a business to finance the period between selling its products and receiving payments. Factoring companies make available such finance to the extent of 80% of the invoice value. Factoring company collects payments on the invoices and on collection, passes the balance due back to the business firm; (d) it also helps the ailing business. In USA factoring originated from the textile industry to help the sick industries to survive by ensuring a package of services viz. payments on guaranteed dates, expertise in realizations, quicker collections, efficient management of sales ledger.

More and more businesses around the world are switching to factoring as a means of funding their growth. World- factoring industry statistics just released by Factors Chain International (FCI), the world’s largest network of factoring companies, show wide an increase of 20% in the number of businesses using factoring in 1999. The figure now (April, 2000) stands at just under 100,000 and is up by an impressive 67% during the last three years.

The growth in the number of users of factoring has helped the industry reach a record annual volume of 573 billion Euro, an increase of 27% on the previous year. The growth has come not only from the traditionally strong markets for factoring, but in the newer markets also. Areas such asEastern EuropeandSouth Americaare seeing very healthy growth rates.Europestill represents the largest market for factoring with 61%, with theAmericasfollowing with 23% of the world’s factoring volume.

The Asian crisis that hit a number of factors two years ago now seems to be over as far as most of the Asian factors are concerned. The factoring volumes of the Asia-Pacific region grew by 29% during 1999.

The largest volume of international factoring business is conducted within the European Union but there is also significant inter-continental business between theFar EastandEuropeand theFar Eastand theUSA. The growth in international factoring continued in 1999 and now stands at just over 33 billion Euro, an increase of 25% on the previous year. The continued increase in the number of businesses using factoring is a reflection of the greater flexibility that it gives in terms of funding and credit protection. It allows businesses to offer their customers the benefits of buying on open account terms without the fear of bad debts or disrupted cash flow. It is far easier to use than traditional letters of credit and the use of the most sophisticated communications technology means that even inter­continental transactions are completed at the touch of a button.

On a positive note, the boost in the factoring industry inSingaporeandMalaysiais very much a result of the respective government’s efforts either directly or indirectly. In Singapore, factoring took off due mainly to the introduction of the low cost factoring scheme, i.e. the small industries finance scheme, whereas in Malaysia, it was the concerted effort of the Malaysian Factors Association to promote the industry and the cooperative attitude of the government to formalize common operational procedure coupled with the economic upturn in this country that fuelled factoring to greater heights. The rubbing of shoulders between Asian and European FCI member countries via international network link has resulted not only in the take off for domestic factoring, but also in a keen interest to promote the concept of international factoring towards Asian exporters.Japantook the lead followed bySouth Korea,SingaporeandMalaysia. In addition, the considerable amount of factoring professionalism today allows factors to market these relatively new services, far more effectively than in the past.

Two SAARC members,IndiaandSri Lankahave already introduced this service. InSri Lanka, factoring is now accepted as a useful financial service. InIndiaalso, factoring is gaining acceptance in the business community.

A major milestone was reached in the year 1998 by the worlds factoring industry. For the first time ever the annual volume of business handled exceeded the 500 billion USD level. Industry statistics, compiled by Factors Chain International, the world’s largest network of factoring companies, show an overall growth for the year of over 17%, taking the total volume to almost 530 billion USD. In 1999 the total volume reached almost 575 USD.

Factoring Turnover By Country in 1999 in Millions of USD


Nr. of Companies Europe Domestic International Total
                        -5 Austria 1,571 442 2,013
7 Belgium 5,015 2,638 7,653
1 Bulgaria 0 2 2
3 Cyprus 1,003 120 1,123
5 CzechRepublic 532 251 782
9 Denmark 2,578 792 3,370
10 Estonia 401 70 471
4 Finland 5,496 150 5,647
39 France 50,250 3,009 53,259
12 Germany 16,302 3,742 20,044
9 Greece 702 150 853
5 Hungary 102 42 144
2 Iceland 0 100 100
8 Ireland 5,647 532 6,178
45 Italy 84,252 4,012 88,264
5 Netherlands 17,553 3,009 20,562
. 7 Norway 4,072 201 4,273
2 Poland 587 20 607
8 Portugal 7,051 421 7,472
3 Romania 2 35 37
4 Slovakia 50 110 160
2 Slovenia 22 13 35
19 Spain 11,936 632 12,568
15 Sweden 7,372 201 7,573
2 Switzerland 1,003 301 1,304
100 Turkey 4,514 752 5,266
70 United Kingdom 98,294 5,216 103,510

               399                                            326,306                     26,965      353,271


Factoring Turnover by Product Group


1996 1997 1998 1999 1999/1998
Invoice Discounting 23,443 34,245 38,140 40,384 5.88%
Recourse Factoring 35,030 36,384 47,604 52,272 9.81%
Non Recourse
Factoring 87,329 96,332 106,415 116,840 9.80%
Collections 11,036 10,274 11,728 16,452 40.28%
Total Domestic FactoringFCI 156838  177235   203887 225948 65.77%
Export Factoring Import Factoring 7,849 5,548 8,482 5,693 9,772 5.997 12.954 6.451 32.56% 7.58%
Total International Factoring FCI 13,397 14,175 15,769 19,405 23.06%
Grand Total FCI 170,236 191,410 219,656 245,354 11.70%
World Domestic Factoring 368,116 422,739 498,175 541,235 8.64%
World International Factoring 27,824 29,130 31,340 33,492 6.87%
World Total 395,940 451,869 529,515 574,727 8.54%

Factoring has been showing consistently high levels of growth world wide for many years now, with total volumes almost doubling in the last 6 years. In 1999 total FCI domestic factoring increased by 10.82 % and total FCI international factoring increased by 23.06 %, and the total volume of world factoring increased by 8.54 %.



FCl is a global network of leading factoring companies, whose common aim is to facilitate international trade through factoring and related financial services. FCI’s mission is to become the worldwide ‘standard’ for international factoring. FCl helps its members achieve competitive advantage international trade finance through:

a)     a global network of first-class factoring companies,

b)           a reliable legal framework to protect exporters and importers,

c)     modern and effective communication systems to enable them to conduct their    businesses in a cost-efficient way,

d)     a package of training programs

e)     standard procedures aimed at maintaining a universal quality,

f)      Worldwide promotion aimed at positioning international factoring as the preferred method of trade finance.

FCl facilitates dealings between the two Factors in different countries (where the local laws and usages and practices may be different) by setting up appropriate business standards for bilateral dealings between export factor and import factor. FCl with its Headquarters inAmsterdamoffers tremendous opportunities for exporters to export on open account terms with confidence. FCl is a non-exclusive organization open, in principle, to any factoring company. The constitutions of FCl lay down the basic requirement of membership and rules of conduct. One basic requirement is that, the factoring organization should be sponsored by a commercial bank and that it should have a minimum equity of US $ 1million.

The main objectives of FCI:

To assist their members in their efforts to simplify and rationalize the work routinely connected with international factoring business; 2) To set up business standards such that the members cooperate bilaterally in export/import factoring transactions. & 3) To be perceived as a professional association to bring together Factors which do not necessarily compete with each other.


Through there are many sophisticated nuances, the basic operations of FCI export factoring can by broken down into four main stages :

q       An exporter signs a factoring agreement with an export factor. By virtue of the agreement, all trade receivables are assigned to the factor. The factor in turn is responsible to his client for all the aspects of the factoring operations.

q       The export factor selects an FCI correspondent to act as import factor in the country to where the exports are shipped. The receivables are then reassigned to that import factor.

q       In the meantime, the import factor has investigated the credit standing of local buyers of the exporter’s goods, and has established credit lines so that the buyer can place orders for the exporter’s goods on Open Account terms ( without opening L/C).

q       Once the authorized sales take place, the import factor handles the collection of the receivables arising from them. The import factor collected in the fastest possible way.

Each of these stages is vital. In particular, the different roles of the export and import factors ensure export sales without risk.


November 13th 2000 is marked an historic day for the world’s factoring industry. The Executive Committee of Factors Chain International and the Board of Directors of International Factors Group agreed to merge the two organizations in accordance with a predetermined time schedule. This will be subject to finding satisfactory solutions to the development of uniform rules and procedures and final ratification by the respective decision making bodies of each organization.

It is planned that the formal coming together of the two organizations will take place between October 2002 and May 2003. In the meantime teams from both organizations will be working together on developing uniform rules for cross border factoring and common operating rules between member companies. A joint team will also be working towards a common communications system, which could be introduced as soon as the new organization feels that the time is right.

The final issue will be the creation of one corporate structure. At present the two organizations have been created under different legal systems and as such each have a different legal status that means that a simple merger is not possible. The combined organization will consist of approximately 200 of the world’s largest factoring companies and will have members in over 50 countries.

“We are extremely pleased with this outcome of lengthy discussions. We still have to do a lot of work, but we see great advantages in offering the world one common standard for international factoring services. The members of our two organizations handle today already more than 80% of the world’s cross border factoring transactions so there is no doubt the standard will indeed be universal”, said Jeroen Kohnstamm, Secretary General of Factors Chain International.




q     Factoring, although new toBangladesh, has been in existence for over a thousand years in one form or another.

q       In Bangladesh, previously very limited volume of bill discounting facilities were provided by some of the banks but full-fledged factoring service was not offered by any of them.

q       IDLC is the pioneer in providing factoring of account receivable service inBangladesh.

q       The service is provided on Recourse (to the client) basis.

q       Under the service IDLC provides

–         Financing

–         Follow-up & Collection

–         Accounting & Reporting


q       Most of the continuous & bulk procurement in Bangladesh both in government and private corporate level is made on credit basis creating receivables in suppliers” balance sheet, thereby adversely affecting their liquidity. Factoring, a financing tool for such receivables provides the following benefits:

q       Releases cash tied up in receivables by providing 80-90% of invoice

value immediately.

q       Enables to raise funds in direct proportion to the turnover without

Collateral (most of the traditional working capital financing facility in BD is

collateral­ based).

q       Frees more time for improving sales, establishing customer relations,

product development and innovation by taking care of the follow up and


q       Saves cost by reducing staff, space since the accounting of sales is also

taken care of.

q       Also by managing the sales ledger it saves managerial time, which could

be directed towards more productive use

q       Through an organized and automated credit control mechanism it also

minimizes the possibility of bad debts

q       Historically, it was found that the modem form of factoring was developed inUSAin the 1920s, mainly to finance the growing textile industry. InBangladeshalso textile and apparels is the major thrust sector where factoring can act as key tool for working capital finance.

q       Besides, bottling & container, chemicals, fuel traders & suppliers, cargo transport, printing and packaging, clearing 8 forwarding, construction etc. may be some other sectors where factoring may play pivotal role for working capital finance.

q       Hence given the existing scenario in Bangladesh Factoring of Accounts Receivable appears to have good prospect.



q       Historically people are resistant to changes.

q       Factoring being a new concept in BD has been under critical scrutiny from most of the entrepreneurs.

q       Hence market penetration appears to be pretty time consuming and substantial effort is required to attract an entrepreneur.

q       However, major focus should be on Small and Medium sized businesses with:

  • Strong Customer Base
  • Good Record with Customers
  • Sound business track record
  • High growth potential
  • Efficient Management

Factoring Portfolios:


Year Total Portfolio (TK)
2000 31,931,794















[source: IDLC Finance Limited; From 2000-2007]


q       Competition from traditional source of working capital finance

q       Misconception on the seller’s part apprehending strained relationship with the buyer

q       Reluctance on buyer’s part to get involved in this kind of tripartite arrangement

q       Fake bill/ direct payment through the collusion between the buyer and the seller

q       Default in payment by the customer

q       Discounting facility offered by the buyer himself

q       Government policy and legal framework (particularly in case of International Factoring) necessitating submission of L/C documents to obtain government incentives.




Now a day, Factoring is considered to be a very useful financial package all over the world. It experiences a vast turnover since it particularly serves the financial needs of the small and medium size businesses. It has become well established in developing and highly industrialized countries as well. The Americasand Europehave now fully mature factoring industry. Worldwide factoring industry experiences strong growth despite difficult market conditions. Fresh statistics for 2001 show a 12% growth for worldwide factoring according to the latest figures for the industry just released by Factors Chain International (FCI), the world’s largest network of factoring companies with a presence in some 60 countries. Although 2001 will be remembered as a year with very difficult market conditions and recessional trends in many countries, factoring volumes continued to grow and outperformed most other sectors of the banking and financial services industry. World domestic factoring stands now at a volume of some 670 billion euro, while the cross-border or international factoring volume is close to 50 billion euro, figures which are more than double from five years ago.  The largest market continues to be Europe, which represents 65% of world volumes, followed by the Americaswith 22% and the Asia-Pacific area with 12% of world volumes.  Strong growth was seen in particular in emerging economies in Central Europewith Poland, CzechRepublic, the Baltic States, Hungaryand Slovakiaas prime examples.  Even stronger growth was seen in some of the Asian countries, pushing Taiwanto second position behind Japan, India(+50%) and China, showing an impressive 600% growth. The members of FCI represent nearly 60 countries and handle over 52% of the world’s international factoring volumes and 44% of the total factoring volume worldwide.  FCI’s continued strength in cross-border factoring is a further indication that more and more businesses are switching to international factoring as a means of moving away from letter of credit terms to open account trading. Importers are now demanding more favourable payment terms and factoring allows exporters to move to open account with a period of credit without fear of bad debts or overseas collection problems.

Factoring business: Trends and Growth

Factoring is growing in significance, especially in the context of the globalization of trade and Finance. To measure the performance of global factoring, Compound Growth Rate (CGR) with the help of linear regression mode has been calculated. Table I shows the global factoring business during the last 11 years.

World Domestic Factoring

Domestic factoring dominates market share in the total factoring business, as the market share of domestic factoring in the total factoring business of the world between 1991 to 2001 has ranged between 92.97 percent to 94.42 per cent (Table 1). The amount of world domestic factoring was US$ 655779 million during the year 2001 as against US $ 250626 million during the year 1991. It is also seen from the index number of the table that world domestic factoring volume has increased 2.61 times over the referred period (11 years). The compound growth rate comes to 11.52 per cent.


World International Factoring

Table I reveals that the quantum of international factoring is meager compared to the domestic counterpart. The share of international factoring ranges only from 5.58 per cent to 7.03 per cent of total world factoring during the reference period. In absolute terms, it reached US $47,130 million in 2001 as against US $15744 in 1991. It is also seen from the Table that the world international factoring has gone up by 2.99 times in 11 years, which is slightly higher than that of world domestic factoring. The compound growth rate is also showing a higher percentage (12.97 per cent) as compared to that of world domestic factoring.

World Total Factoring Volume

The total world factoring volume is US $ 702909 million in 2001 as against US $ 266370 million in 1991. A look at fixed base index numbers of the world total factoring in Table I indicates that it has gone up by 2.63 times during the time span of 11 years. The compound growth rate of world’s total volume comes to 11.62 per cent. Growth is, therefore, being experienced in both domestic and international factoring. However, world international factoring accounts for a higher growth rate than that of world domestic factoring although the share of international factoring in the world total is still very small. International factoring survey 1998 states that international factoring is growing considerably faster than international trade (1998, p.5). FCI, in its press information, tries to explain the reason behind it and states that it is apparent that more and more business generated in countries ofAsiais now looking to push their exports in markets outside the region, for example,EuropeandNorth America. A more impressive example of this development is observable inJapan, where factored exports toGermanyhave grown by a staggering 51 per cent on 1996.

Table 3.1: Global Factoring Business: Domestic and International

(Amount in Million US$)


World Domestic Factoring

World International Factoring

World Total



% of World Total



% of World Total










































































































Source: World Factoring Year Book, 1999, 2000.

Factors Chain International (FCI)

Global Factoring Business: Distribution of Factoring Companies


The growth of factoring is illustrated by the large number of companies along with the large volume of business. Table 3.2 shows the continent wise distribution of factoring companies. The total number of factoring companies in the world stands at 995 at the end of 2001. However, at the same timeEuropeaccounts for 427, which is the highest among all continents.Americasregisters the second highest expansion with 392 companies. The other continents likeAsia,Australasia, andAfricaaccount for 104, 28 and 14 companies respectively.

The index in the Table 3 reveals a moderate continent –wise growth rate of index in 2001 likeEurope(175.72),Asia(92.04),Americas(127.27),Australasia(127.27) andAfrica(233.33). The compound growth rate of the number of continent-wise factoring companies shows an upward trend exceptAsiain all the continents with a compound growth rate for world total 4.28 per cent.Africa(7.06%) accounts for highest CGR followed byAmericas(6.74%).


Table 3.2: Distribution of Number of Factoring Companies in the World Continents











































































































































































Source: World Factoring Year Book, 1999, 2000.

Factors Chain International (FCI)


Major Findings

Factoring is expanding in all parts of the world. The compound growth rate of world total factoring volume is 11.62 per cent during the time span of 11 years. Of this, the compound growth of world international factoring is 12.97 per cent and that of world domestic factoring is 11.52 per cent. However, domestic factoring dominates the market share in the total factoring business .The share of domestic factoring is between 93.01 percent to 94.42 per cent of total factoring business during the reference period. These findings support my hypothesis that international factoring is growing worldwide over the years.


Implications for Bangladesh

International factoring is getting popularity impressively. International Factoring Survey (1998, p.3), Khonstamm  (1999, p.3) mentioned that international factoring is being introduced into more and more countries whose exporters turned their back in the letter of credit. Apart from this, regional economic co-operation has emerged as a major economic arrangement for the global economic integration.Bangladeshhas participated as an active member of South Asian Association For Regional Co-operation  (SAARC), South Asia Preferential Trade Agreement (SAPTA), Colombo Plan, etc. This has created possibilities for increasing the cross border trade among the countries of the region through land and sea routes. It will result in bright possibilities of trade on open account terms’ under factoring service. So,Bangladeshcannot keep herself away from this growing financial service. It is expected that factoring could prove to be mutually beneficial to, both bankers and manufacturing sector. In one hand, export-oriented manufacturing sector can get benefit from the wide range and flexibility of international factoring services; on the other hand, bankers would be assured of readily available substantial business from the export-oriented manufacturing sector. In this perspective, it is felt that it will be of great assistance to the entire industrial and trading sectors if factoring services are introduced inBangladesh.  Moreover, the introduction of export factoring inBangladeshwould provide an additional window of facility to the exporters. There is, therefore, no need to keep any reservation in introducing international factoring inBangladesh. Bhattacharya (1997, p.l48) and Choudhury et.al. (1995, p.27) have suggested that factoring services should be introduced in order to facilitate economic growth as well as to ensure financial discipline inBangladesh. It is positive that some financial institutions ofBangladeshare already thinking about the factoring services. However, such a system can sustain only if a conducive environment is created and a professional approach is taken. Bangladesh Bank can take suitable actions for policy initiatives for launching international factoring services.  An urgent attempt is, therefore, required to be taken to look into various aspects of factoring such as scope, procedure, organization, legal issues, funding, pricing, accounting, credit rating and managerial issues. These will provide a helpful direction to the government, policy makers, bankers, manufacturers, traders and other authorities that can intimately involve in launching this financial service in the country.



Bangladeshis a developing country with a huge population. It faces balance of payment crisis frequently. In fact it suffers from trade deficit resulting from higher import than its export. Its export sector comprises mostly of non-traditional goods. And market of the exports fromBangladeshis highly concentrated. Though there are many facilities for the exporters it is not rising as it is expected.

InBangladesh, one of the biggest problems of exporters is finance. Although a battery of institutions provides financing facilities to the exporters, yet the procedures are bothersome and time-consuming. Moreover, the quantum of credit they receive is also insufficient. Besides many good firms restrict themselves to the domestic market because of the obvious fears in the international trade (Banerjee, Prashanta. Kumar. 1999, pp. 204).

In the parlance of factoring, ‘International Factoring’ and ‘Export Factoring’ have often been used synonymously. This is because international factoring has developed through out the world as a financial product to supplement traditional export financing techniques mainly at the post-shipment stage. However, with the development of the international trade on a two-way level, export factor has also become import factor at the time of imports within their countries. Therefore, here it is tried to evaluate the prospect of export factoring inBangladesh.


Trends in Export Finance inBangladesh


Sengupta et. al. (1999) has concluded that export credit is directly proportionate to the growth in exports and factors affecting exports determine export credit requirement as well. These factors at macro-level include exchange rate of taka, availability of incentives and others. However the amount of export can be considered as the single most important factor determining export

finance. The relationship between the exports and export finance for the last 10 years is given in Table 5.1


Table:  5.1 Export and Export Finance

Amount in MillionUS$


Total Export

Total Export Finance

Export Finance as a % of Export












































Source: Export Statistics, 2000-2001

Above table reveals that export finance constitutes, on an average, 19.30%of the total export of the country. It can therefore be safely concluded that 1/5th of the total exports of the country have been financed by the banking system.


Regression Analysis Explaining Export Finance


To explain the relationship between export and export finance available inBangladesh, a linear regression equation has been estimated by Ordinary Least Square (OLS) method. This regression analysis was performed based on 10 year’s (From 1991-1992 to 2000-2001) data. The purpose of running regression was to:

  • To determine whether the export is the important determinant of export finance.
  • To project the export finance requirement for the next 10 years.



Exp Fin = Export finance

Exp = Export

The estimated model is summarized:

Exp Fin = -36.953 + 0.96 Exp.                 (-0.403)    (9.644)



F- Statistics = 207.55

D. W. statistics =0.836

No. of observations = 10


The above equation has turned out to be highly significant. Moreover, it explains 92.1% variation in export finance ( = 92.1%). The model implies that 1% increase in export will result in 0.96% increase in export finance.


Projection of Export

Besides, micro factors like productivity, quality and marketing efforts, growth ofBangladeshexport in the coming years may depend on many macro factors like:


  • Continuity of government’s export promotion policy.
  • Profitability in the international market.
  • Recovery of economic growth in the industrialized countries.
  • Extent of pressure on the balance of payment position.
  • Ease (or difficulty) in availability of external finance.
  • Extent of competition from the other countries.


Notwithstanding the constraints as mentioned above, there are bright prospect of accelerated export growth ofBangladeshin the upcoming years. Based on the above proposition, an attempt has been made to project the export for the next 10 years assuming 15%, 20%, and 25% growth. And projected export in the three situations is shown in the Table 2.


Table 5.2:

Projected Exports under Three Scenario

                            (Amount in Million US $)














































Projection of Export Finance

Demand for ‘Export Finance’ for the next ten years has been projected using the regression model developed in the Table 2. Export figures projected above have been used to estimate export finance requirement. The formula used here is as follows:

Exp Fin = -36.953 + 0.96 Exp



Exp. Fin = Export Finance and

Exp = Export





Table 5.3: Projected Export Finance Growth assuming 15%

Growth in Export

(Amount in Million US $)



Export Finance

































Table 5.4:

Projected Export Finance Growth assuming 20% Growth in Export


(Amount in Million US $)



Export Finance
































Table 5.5:

Projected Export Finance Growth assuming 25% Growth in Export

    (Amount in Million US $)



Export Finance
































Projection of Export Factoring:

On the basis of projected export finance demand, potential for export factoring is evaluated. Under the three scenarios of export finance demand that were projected shown above, assuming 20% (1/5th) of the total export credit demand being supported by international factoring, the potential is shown in Table 7.

Table 5.6: Projected Export Factoring Potential Under Three Scenarios

                                                                       (Amount in Million US $)


Growth Rate (%)




















































Other Factors

International Factoring is yet to be introduced inBangladesh. It would be wise to examine all factors that directly influence the prospect of international factoring. The following factors deserve in-depth study in this regard:

  • Effectiveness of existing exports financing system inBangladesh.
  • Potential benefit of international factoring.
  • Comparative cost of factoring and traditional export financing.

Government ofBangladeshprovides various facilities to the exporters so that they can sell their product in the international market. A lot of export promotion activity is in operation now. Nonetheless the issue is whether there are enough prospects for international factoring, if introduced inBangladesh. The argument that can be cited here is that the very idea of introducing a new product in the financial market is to open up a new window of service with some new feature. This approach is likely to induce a sense of competition within the market that results in better efficiency.

Some unique benefits that exporter will enjoy are:

q       International factoring is a continuing arrangement while traditional international trade financing techniques (L/C) is transaction based.

q       Exporter can sell abroad on open account term, the most buyer-friendly mode of trade payment.

q       Exporter can realize the proceed immediately after the shipment of the goods.

q       Exporter can enjoy credit risk protection.

In regard to the comparative cost, initially, cost of international factoring will be higher by a small amount than L/C. But it will be reduced when factoring company will achieve economy of scale. More importantly, if cost gets less consideration, exporter will get a package of services that incorporates sales ledger maintenance, bad-debt protection, financing etc. under “one roof”. So exporter will not be required to avail fragmented services from different provider


CHAPTER-VI: Operational Guideline on Domestic Factoring in Bangladesh

Factoring is ideally suited to finance receivables of SMEs who generally suffer from shortage of working funds. Introduction of factoring will therefore go a long way in overall development of the SME sector and thereby the overall economy of the country.

The operational guideline on domestic factoring has been prepared with a view to providing a framework of operating guidelines for practitioners as also for the users of factoring facility, particularly SMEs. This chapter illustrates the legal framework that has been formulated by the Core Committee On Factoring and Consultative Committee On Factoring, regarding the operational practice of factoring (domestic) services inBangladesh.


These guidelines are general in nature and each factoring organization need to adopt it with or without modification as the case may be depending on their specific work environment and work practices.


The guidelines have been organized into the following five sections:

1)    Description of product “Factoring “and how it works

2) Policy Guidelines

2.1) Factoring Guidelines

2.2) Credit Assessment

2.3) Organization Structure & Segregation of Duties

2.4) Approval Authority

2.5) Internal Audit

3) Procedural Guidelines

3.1) Credit Evaluation

3.2) Approval Process

3.3) Credit Documentation

3.4) Credit Administration

4) Risk Analysis and Mitigation

5) Pricing Guidelines


Factoring is a contract between a “Supplier”and a “Factor” wherein:

a) The supplier assigns its receivables to the factor

b) Notice of the assignment of receivables is given in writing to the debtor (buyer)

c) The factor performs at least two of the following services:

i) Financing by way of prepayment against invoices

ii) Sales Ledger maintenance

iii) Collection of receivables

iv) Credit protection of bad debts against insurance, if available.

The factoring process comprises of:

a)      Placement of order by buyer on seller

b)     Seller approaches factor for approval of factoring facility

c)     Factor approves the facility

d)     Debtor confirms direct payment to factor against assigned invoices subject to fulfillment of trade terms by seller

e)     Seller dispatches goods to buyer

f)      Seller assigns invoices in favor of factor

g)     Seller informs buyer in writing of assignment of receivables

h)     Factor disburses prepayment to seller

i)       Buyer pays to factor on due date

j)       Factor refunds balance to seller after recovering prepayment and discount & factoring charges

A comparison of conventional Bill Discounting and Factoring is given below:


Financing or receivables of

Financing of client(seller)’s invoices on
client(borrower)against Bills of open Account Trade
Exchange or Letter of Credit:
I Lending against strength of balance Lending against strength of transaction
I sheets


Credit Risk on Client ( Borrower) -Client

Performance risk on Client (Borrower)
repays the credit and Credit/Payment risk on Debtor.
Repayment comes from debtor and not
Serviced by Consolidated Cash Flow Serviced by Invoice Backed Dedicated
of Client (Borrower) – Cash Flow from Debtor not Client
Security / Collateral Driven Cash Flow and Portfolio Driven
Only Finance Finance and Value Added
Services(sales ledger management
and collection
Limits Linked to Security/collateral


Limits Linked to Growth

As factoring is serviced by invoice backed dedicated cash flow as opposed to consolidated cash flow of borrower as in the case of conventional lending, it is inherently less risky from a credit point of view.

Factoring is somewhat similar to “Work Order financing “which is quite popular inBangladesh. The difference being that in Work Order Financing, the lender takes performance risk on the entire business cycle of its client where as in factoring the risk is restricted to post shipment performance only. Work Order Financing is generally popular in construction contract and/or agency sales where as factoring is possible in all trades.

Factoring is ideally suited in situation of open account sales involving continuing relationship and in case whole turnover in respect of a buyer is assigned in favor of factor. In factoring since small suppliers are financed, it can command better pricing than direct lending for the same corporate (buyer) credit risk.

Reverse Factoring is a financial instrument in which the invoices of suppliers duly accepted by the client (buyer) are factored. In case of reverse factoring the client is the buyer as against the client being seller in case of normal factoring and the factoring agreement is between the buyer and the factor. In case of reverse factoring since funds are released to suppliers after the buyer (client) duly accepts the invoices, the performance risks of the suppliers are obviated and the only risk is the credit worthiness of the buyer.


A flow chart of reverse factoring business is given in Appendix II.

It is recommended that banks and financial institutions inBangladeshshould start factoring with suppliers of their existing creditable clients as also reverse factoring of the purchases of the same clients. Thereafter banks and financial institutions should target the suppliers of other credit worthy organizations who are not their existing clients.


The policy guidelines suggested in this section covering all functional aspects of factoring are outline general principles to manage factoring business. Each factoring organization needs to formulate its own specific policy guidelines for factoring business based on a variety of factors, such as, prevailing financial market condition, regulations in force from time to time, competition, business strategy, corporate culture & values, etc.

Specific policy guidelines should be approved by the Board of Directors of the factoring organization.

2.1 Factoring Guidelines

The factoring guidelines should provide the key foundation for marketing / relationship managers to formulate their marketing plan and should include the following:

•   Industry and Business Segment Focus

Based on prevailing business and industrial climate, the guidelines should clearly identify the trade / industry / service sectors that should constitute the factoring portfolio. The factors should establish specific trade / industry / service sectors exposure caps to avoid over concentration in any industry/service sector and thereby diversify risks. Based on sectoral exposure caps , the management should issue clear instructions from time to time of factor’s appetite for growth or otherwise( for example, Textiles : maintain, Services: grow , Construction: shrink, etc ). The sectoral exposure caps should be reviewed and adjusted, if necessary based on changing business climate at regular intervals.

• Single Client/Group Limits

Factor should establish single/group exposure limits based on prevailing regulations, if any, and its own financials. Factors may wish to establish conservative criteria based on its own assessment of its overall client profiles.

•   Single / Group Sales Ledger Limits of debtors

Factor should establish single / group debtors exposure limits based on assessment of each debtor. For this purpose the factor should design a debtor scoring model.


• Discouraged Business Types

Factors should outline trades or services that are discouraged, such as, perishable food items, software related services, business process outsourcing (BPO), etc.

Further factoring should be discouraged for trades between group companies and should be avoided when there is two way trade between parties.

• Factoring Facility Parameters

Facility parameters should be clearly stated. The parameters are:

i)                   Maximum outstanding amount (Fund-in-Use) in respect of single client.

ii)                Individual debtor sales ledger limit

iii)              Debtor wise prepayment percentage

iv)               Debtor wise invoice tenor (credit periods could vary from buyer to buyer). It is suggested that tenor is decided on a realistic basis of actual trade credit period.

v)                  Debtor wise facility pricing – discount rate of prepayment, factoring charge on invoice value

vi)               Upfront one time set up fee for client

vii)             Penal interest for delayed payment; this will not arise if non payment by debtor on due date is adjusted against fresh invoices of the same debtor or payments of other debtors whose invoices are also factored

viii)          Covenants

IX) Security

X) Global limit on each buyer

Credit Assessment

The credit risk of a factoring business is distinctively different from that of conventional lending. The credit risk of factoring comprises performance risk of client (seller) and credit / payment risk of buyer as against credit risk of client in case of lending. Thus in case of factoring the risk focus is on the transaction and not on balance sheet of the client.

In light of above, credit assessment of factoring comprises of three parts:

i)         Assessment of performance risk of client (seller)

ii)        Assessment of financial health and payment record of debtor

iii)        Assessment of trade reputation and financial health of client (for eventual recourse, if required)

It is recommended that client (seller) should be encouraged to factor invoices of more than one debtor as spread of debtors minimizes risk.


The result of these assessments should be documented by the relationship manager and thereafter scrutinized and vetted by the credit department.

2.3 Organization Structure & Segregation of Duties

Factoring business should ideally be set up in a separate corporate entity. It could be a stand alone factoring company or a subsidiary or a Joint Venture of a commercial bank or a financial institution.

In case under compulsion it has to be set up as a department of a bank or financial institution, a separate demarcated organization should be set up for factoring business to be successful. The need to set up separate organization arises from the fact that the nature of risk in case of factoring is very different from that in case of conventional lending and which in turn necessitates a different mindset for the organization.

The following chart is a typical organization structure for factoring business

The responsibilities of the above functions are as follow:

Relationship/Marketing Management

q       Market factoring as a product

q       Maintain relationship with clients on an ongoing basis

q        Communicate with client at each subrogation

q       Keep abreast with industry / trade knowledge and current information of business trends of client(seller) and debtor(buyer)

q       Responsible for timely and accurate submission of factoring proposals and annual reviews to credit department for scrutiny and independent evaluation

q       Give market feedback to Chief Executive and other departments

q       Negotiates with the clients on facility parameters, such as pricing, debtor limits, fund-in-use, etc.


Credit & Risk Management

• Independently scrutinize and vet the factoring proposals prepared by the Relationship management..

• Recommend to the approval authority to approve or disapprove a proposal

• Oversight of factoring policies, procedures and controls relating to credit risk.

• Oversight of quality of factoring portfolio.

• Periodical review of factoring portfolio.

• Advise the Chief Executive on need to review existing guidelines on credit & risk management.


Credit Administration Management

• Ensure that facility documentation including specific covenants and security are executed in compliance with terms & conditions of approval and same is enforceable.

• Scrutinize each invoice in all respects to ensure validity of invoices.

• Authorize release of prepayment and ensure that aggregate prepayment at any point of time is within the sales ledger limit of each debtor and within the overall limit of the facility.

• Monitor repayment i.e., receipt of payment from debtors against invoice on due date

• Follow up with client Debtor in case of delay in receipt of payment from debtors

•Recommend recourse to client / enforcement of security for recovery of bad debts

•Custodial duties

• Compliances

Factor should clearly segregate the above functions as suggested above. The purpose of segregation is to improve knowledge levels and expertise in each function on one hand and avoid conflict of interest and diffused accountability on the other.

In case of stand-alone factoring companies, in addition to the above business functions, there would be support functions, namely, Resources and Treasury, Human Resources, Information Technology and Legal.

Resource and Treasury Department’s job will include mobilization of resources on best terms, idle fund management, asset & liability management and advising top management on cost of capital and product pricing.

Human Resources Department will focus on training of personnel, organizational development and designing appropriate performance appraisal and compensation systems.

Information Technology Department assumes great importance in factoring business as factoring involves management and control of a large number of invoices on a continuous basis. Successful operation of credit administration function is highly dependent on having a robust IT platform. The department will also be responsible for creation and maintenance of factor’s website.

Legal Department will work on design/ improvement of various documents, legal notices, court cases and company law matters.

Approval Authority

The authority to approve factoring facility must be clearly delegated to Chief Executive and /or any other senior executive and /or a Committee of Senior Executives as may be deemed fit by the Board. All delegations must be recorded in formal minutes of the Board Meetings. The degree of delegation will however be a function of the size and geographical spread of the organization and could therefore vary from one factor to another.

Marketing / Relationship management should not have any approval authority in view of inherent conflict of interest.

Internal Audit

Internal audit is very crucial for factoring business more so because factoring involves handling and tracking of large number of invoices. Internal audit will conduct independent inspection of credit approval reports, facility and security documents, random invoice scrutiny, release of prepayment, recovery, etc so as to ensure compliances of policy guidelines, operating procedures, regulations, etc. Internal Audit will report to the Chief Executive /Audit Committee of the Board.


This section covers the procedural aspects of management of different functions of factoring business. The guidelines contained herein outline general practices and would need to be adopted by each organization with suitable modifications, where necessary depending on business environment, existing regulations, availability and access to financial and trade information, etc. 

Credit Evaluation

As mentioned earlier, credit risk of factoring business comprises of:

i) Performance risk of client (seller)

ii) Credit & payment risk of debtor (buyer)

iii) Credit risk of client (seller) in the eventuality of recourse

It is recommended that the factor could design an Application Form for its clients which will enable the factor to capture in one shot all required information for processing and thereby reduce the processing time. A specimen of factoring facility “Application Form” is given in Appendix III

Performance Risk

For assessment of performance risk, the factor should conduct an audit/analysis of past data of sales ledger of respective debtors. It involves tracking “invoice to cash trail” of historical data available with client. Invoices selected at random should be checked and the audit should highlight:

a)      Years of relationship between buyer and seller

b)     All instances of delayed payment, if any, extent of delays (past due date) and reasons for delay should be mentioned

c)     In case of dilutions, the extent and reason for dilution should be highlighted

d)     Defaults of any nature are to be highlighted with complete details

e)   Check whether there are two way trades between buyer and seller

Factoring is not recommended in respect of those debtors where there exist two way trades with seller.

Besides audit of sales ledger, the factor should make independent trade enquiries on the client and the debtor with their respective suppliers/customers/dealers/distributors/trade bodies as appropriate.


Based on above analysis, a Debt Collectibility Rating comprising debtor mix, payment performance of debtors, length of relationship with debtors and level of rejections/dilutions should be designed and adopted by each factor.

A specimen Debt Collectibility Rating Model is given in Appendix IV

Credit & Payment Risk of Debtors

Each debtor needs to be evaluated from a credit & payment risk perspective based on following:

a) Industry Competency

•      Quality of management & experience

•      Competitive position in the market

•      Types of industry

b) Transparency & References c) Financial assessment

d) Debtor payment practice

For credit risk assessment of prospective debtors, factor should, as far as possible, access credit information from Credit Information Bureau (CIB) of Bangladesh Bank. It is recommended that Bangladesh Bank facilitates easy access of information from CIB by authorized factors.

Obtaining above information on debtors is not an easy proposition. The factor should therefore follow an investigative approach to assess the above attributes to overcome the deficiency of limited available information.

Based on above assessment, a Debtor Rating Model may be designed and adopted by each factor. A specimen of a Debtor Rating Model is given in Appendix V.

It may be noted that the factor should also set a global exposure limit on each debtor in respect of invoices raised and factored by various clients (suppliers).

Credit Risk of Client (Seller)

Credit risk assessment of the client (seller) is undertaken primarily to mitigate the residual risk in case of non payment by debtor on account of trade disputes or deterioration of financial health of debtor and consequent recourse of the facility on the client(seller). The credit risk of the client (seller) is assessed on the same basis as that of the debtor as stated above.


In factoring the credit risk of debtor is far more important than that of client as the primary responsibility of payment to factor lies with debtor.

It may be noted that recourse to client (seller) should happen only as a last resort. Normally non payment in respect of any invoice should be adjusted against margins in other invoices as also against future invoices. It is recommended that the factor should always explore to have more than one debtor to spread risk as also adjust non payment of one debtor against invoices of another debtor. A suitable clause for assignment of whole


Turnover (debtor specific) and set off of dues amongst various debtors would reduce incidence of recourse.

Based on above evaluation, a credit approval 1 appraisal report is prepared.

Approval Process

After the approval report is prepared, it is independently scrutinized and vetted by the Credit & Risk management department with particular reference to authenticity of data, oversight of due diligence carried out, compliances of guidelines, etc. Credit department should add its own independent comments and recommendation to the approval authority to approve or disapprove a proposal. The proposal is then put up to the approving authority for consideration. The minutes of the decision of the approval authority should be properly documented including all particulars of the facility and special terms & conditions, if any. Based on the minutes, a facility approval letter is issued to the client (seller).

All documents should be stored in a manner so that retrieval is easy. Legal documents should be kept in safe custody.

A specimen of a factoring approval letter is given in Appendix VI.

Credit Documentation

Factoring documentation will comprise of:

Accounts Receivable Management Agreement (factoring agreement) : The agreement is similar to a loan agreement and would include the names of the approved debtors and debtor wise details of facility approved ( sales ledger limit , price .-prepayment %, tenor, etc) and overall fund-in use ( outstanding exposure limit on the client).

The agreement will also provide for clauses relating to assignment of invoices, notification to debtors, undertakings and warranties, obligations of client in case of disagreement with debtors, appropriation of receipts, accounting procedures, penal interest, power of attorney, indemnity, events of defaults and remedies, etc.

Debtor Introductory letter: a letter from the debtor addressed to the factor acknowledging the client (seller) as an authorized supplier and agreeing to directly pay the factor on assignment of invoices on due dates subject to fulfillment of trade terms by the supplier.

Tying the debtor for direct payment to factor could be also in the form of legal undertaking on stamp paper from debtor to this effect or against bills of exchange/ co-accepted bills/inland letters of credit as may be negotiated between the buyer and the factor.

•   Special Undertakings, if any

•   Demand Promissory Notes

•   Notarized Power of Attorney in favor of factor

•      Postdated cheques. It could be for total facility or could be a set of cheques based on debtors/invoices

•      Personal guarantee(s) of proprietor / partners / principal directors of the client (seller)

•      Pledge/hypothecation /mortgage of assets, if collateral is stipulated by the factor

A specimen of Notification of Assignment of invoices is given in Appendix VII.

The assignment of receivables should be registered with Registrar of Joint Stock Companies, if feasible.

Credit Administration

After all documentation has been completed in all respects, the facility is ready for utilization. The client will forward the assigned invoices, as and when they are generated on dispatch of goods to the factor for prepayment. The notice of assignment should bear the client’s stamp and should be signed by an authorized signatory. The client would need to send copies of delivery chGlla,i and VAT challan along with the invoices. The credit administration department will scrutinize these documents for its accuracy of information and enforceability. An indicative check list for scrutinizing an invoice is given in Appendix VIII. Thereafter the prepayment will be made. It is recommended that the prepayment cheque is drawn favoring the principal bank of the client as “XYZ Bank A/C

Client”. The purpose of this is to keep the principal bank of the client aware of the factoring facility being availed so that there is no double financing of the assigned receivables.

As mentioned earlier, charging of Set up fee is optional and is negotiable between the client and the factor. Set up fee is payable upfront on signing the agreement and before commencement of prepayment. It could be received as cash or debit to factoring account. Discount charges are levied at monthly intervals, based on day to day outstanding drawn position while the factoring charges are levied at the time of prepayment of each invoice.

Credit administration needs to keep track of each factored invoice for payment by debtor on due date. A grace period of 15 to 21 days past due is given after which it is recoursed against new invoices of same debtor or payment (margin portion) made by other debtors. Failing this, invoice based post dated cheque collected from client at the time of prepayment may be enchased to recover overdues. Overdues beyond the grace period would attract penal interest, which should be 2% over the document discount rate. Credit administration will maintain debtor wise sales ledger of each client and sent monthly statement to clients. In due course the client may be given online access to the sales ledger.

Credit Monitoring 8 Recovery processes and classification of factored assets including provisioning for bad and doubtful debts/non performing assets will be governed by the same regulatory guidelines as applicable to normal loans (overdraft /bill discounting).

Sales Ledger Administration

The factor usually takes the responsibility to maintain the sales ledger of the clients in respect of debtors whose invoices are factored. The major responsibilities in this regard are as follow:

q       Maintain sales ledger in a proper manner updated online with latest invoices, prepayments and cash received.

q     Persistent efforts are made to collect dues on due dates through personal contacts, letters of reminders, telephone messages, etc.

q    Ensure monthly statements are sent to clients.

q       Remit or give credit to client account in respect of retention amounts after collection of dues.

q       Maintain close liaison with client and debtors to resolve various trade disputes that could arise from time to time.

q       Keep unallocated credits to a minimum.

q       Review sticky accounts regularly and follow up action.

q       Submit MIS report to management on details of overdue, cheques returned, unallocated cash receipts, inactive clients/buyers, disputes, legal cases, etc.

A robust IT platform is an essential pre requisite to administer, monitor and recovery of credit. As for SMEs, the invoices size by value will be generally small, factoring business entail processing and tracking of large numbers of invoices and hence the importance of IT platform.


Chapter-VIII: Risk Analysis and Mitigation

As mentioned earlier, factoring business involves two primary risks – performance risk of seller (client) and credit & payment risk of debtor. The residual risk, on recourse, hinges on creditworthiness of the seller (client). Analysis and evaluation of these risks are covered in section 3.1.

The other generic risks include defective/false/fake invoices, direct payment by buyer to seller in spite of assignment of receivables and seller not routing all invoices through the factor.

Risk mitigation methodology will include:

1) Proper evaluation of invoice to cash trail of sales ledger

2) Evaluation of financial statements of buyer

3) Trade inquiries

4) Appropriate & enforceable documentation (factoring agreement, demand promissory note, directors personal guarantees, power of attorney, post dated cheques, etc)

5) Special conditions, such as, whole turnover clause, set off clause amongst debtors,


6) Proper scrutiny of invoices

7) Effective online credit monitoring

8) Legal actions


Chapter-IX: Pricing Guidelines

Pricing for factoring facility is generally structured in two parts:

a) Return on fund employed — discount charge

b) Charge for services provided – factoring charge


The discount charge is fixed on the basis of cost of funds, pricing of competitive products (overdraft, etc) and merit of each proposal.

The factoring charge is based on number of services provided (such as, collection, sales ledger maintenance, credit protection, etc) and is usually a small percentage (0.1 to 0.5%) of invoice value subject to a minimum amount per invoice.




In theUnited States, there had been a link between factoring and banking since the First World War, but there was some doubt about the legitimacy of this occupation for commercial banks inAmericauntil, in 1963, the US Comptroller of the Currency ruled that the national banks had authority to engage in factoring business.

Twelve American banks entered into factoring activities in the five years from 1965 to 1970. Since then many more banks have entered the field, to such an extent that most factors throughoutAmericaandEuropeare now owned by or associated with banks.

Notwithstanding the developments in America, it came as something of a surprise to the financial world when, in 1968, the then National Provincial Bank acquired through its subsidiary, North Central Finance, 75 percent of the capital of Portland Group Factors, a company which had been founded five years earlier and which had helped to pioneer factoring services in the United Kingdom. The venture was not entirely successful, partly because of the troubles afflicting a number of the earlier factoring operations in this country, and on the merger of National Provincial Bank with Westminster Bank there was a major reorganization. In 1970, an entirely hew company was formed, Credit Factoring, and by 1971 this was fully operational having taken over the residual business of Portland Group Factors. The new company concentrated on sales accounting and credit protection rather than the advancing of funds, and it was perhaps this aspect that enabled good progress to be: made in attracting larger companies which Were hot particularly seeking additional sources of finance. Through an associated company, Credit Factoring international, the National Westminster Bank group was the first of the British banks to move into international factoring and at the end of 1974 the bank’s chairman was able to report that Credit Factoring International ‘has established itself as a leading company in its field’.

The first step by National Province Bank was a momentous one. In many ways it was seen as a complete departure from traditional banking, but in other respects it displayed a rationale, which has not always been apparent in relation to other services. Three essential aspects of factoring, viz. detailed administration on a large scale, credit assessment and provision of funds, were all familiar to traditional bankers, and in the event factoring has proved to be a natural and complementary development of the older services.

An international factor, originally Towergate Securities, is a factoring company formed in 1960 by Tozer Kemsley & Millbourn, M.Samuel & Co. (now part of Hill Samuel) and the First National Bank ofBoston. It was to become the largest of the factoring operation before the clearing banks entered the scene, and in 1968 Lloyds Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland (through their joint subsidiary, Lloyds and Scottish Finance) acquired a 70 percent interest (later to become a 75 percent interest) in International Factors. Of the original shareholders, only the First National Bank ofBostonremains, with 25 percent of the equity. By 1977, International Factors had 140 clients. As the name implies, the company has developed internationally and is now part of a worldwide network.


The Midland Bank group moved into factoring in 1970 jointly with the First National City Bank of New York, but the new offspring, Midland-Citibank Factors, grew but slowly and in 1973 Midland Bank bought out their American partners and transferred the factoring business to Shield Factors, in which Midland Bank acquired a 50 percent interest jointly with one of the original shareholders of Shield, the Anglo-African Shipping Company. The following year, Midland Bank acquired the Anglo-African shareholding and thus Shield became 100 percent owned by the Midland Bank, the name having been changed to Griffin Factors, and at the present day it is third in the field among the clearing bank factoring companies in terms of total annual volume.

Along among the clearing banks, Barclays Bank chose to develop their factoring business from within their own organization rather than by purchase of an existing operation or by way of a joint venture with a partner. A factoring division was set up in the bank’s subsidiary company, Barclays Export & Finance Company, and it embarked on a steady programme of expansion under the trade name, Barclays Factoring. Barclays Bank already had an interest, however, in Mercantile Credit as a result of their acquisition of Martins Bank, and Mercantile Credit had been engaged in a factoring operation since the late 1960s. After the acquisition by Barclays Bank in 1976 of the Balance of the equity of Mercantile Credit, it was appropriate to rationalize the factoring operations and they were brought together in a new subsidiary, Barclays Factoring, on 1st October 1978.

In India, the RBI constituted a study group (1988) headed by Shri C.S. Kalyanasundaram, former M.D of SBI to examine the feasibility of starting factoring services in India. On the recommendations of the group Banking Regulations Act was amended in July 1990. for this purpose RBI directed that factoring services be provided by banks through separate subsidiaries. The State Bank of Indiawas first to lunch the factoring services in India. Reserve Bank of Indiaby their letter dated 19th February, 1994 has allowed all banks to enter into factoring business.



In former days, a banker would not always view with equanimity the news that his customer was factoring his debts. There would be a vague assumption that the customer was in extremis and that in some undefined way the customer’s last remaining assets were disappearing through the window. In fact, a customer in such dire circumstances would be operation-it is not finance of past resort.


In similar vein, the banker of bygone years did not like to think that his customer was obtaining finance from any other source but himself. Here again, time have changed. Many well-run companies obtain finance for a variety of purposes from a variety of sources. The banker whose customer has negotiated a factoring contract will at least know that:

  1. The factoring house has a good opinion of his customer- it used to be said that only one out of every thirty or so companies who applied to factors were accepted, but the proportion tends to be higher now that factoring is better understood.
  2. His customer’s sales ledger will be well managed and the customer will have the additional help of the factor in matters of credit information.
  3. Bad debts, if any, will be eliminated and debts paid on time.
  4. The covenant of the factor is being substituted for the multiple covenants of the trade debtors.
  5. If required, an extra source of finance is available to aid the growth of the business, to take advantage of discount from suppliers or, conceivably, to reduce the dependence on the bank.


The customer-banker relationship and the customer-factor relationship are not mutually exclusive- indeed they are complementary. This is particularly recognized now that the clearing banks are providing factoring services alongside their traditional banking function. From the standpoint of the banking group as a whole, the debt administration and credit control services are fee-earning operations, which add strength to their customer’s businesses and extend the influence of the bank. To the extent that obtainable normally on bank overdrafts and the security is better than that which would otherwise be available to the bank on book debts.

If the roles of banker and factor are complementary, they are nevertheless different in concept. The banker lends money on the covenant and security of his customer. The factor, in so far as money may be advanced, is relying on the covenant and credit-worthiness of the client’s debtors. Given that difference, the functions are compatible and the skills are banker’s role. It is here to stay and will no doubt be the subject of considerable growth in the coming years.



Many banks in the world are now offered factoring services. In context ofBangladesh, our banks may follow the following procedures for their factoring business:


Client selection criteria

a)      The clients can be either proprietorship or partnership.

b)     They should be in the present line of business for at least 2-3 years.

c)     The customers need not necessarily be joint stock companies, provided the client has been regularly dealing with them, with satisfactory payment position. They may be located anywhere in the country.

d)     The clients may be having borrowing arrangements with any bank.

e)     The following categories of clients are not considered suitable for factoring:


–         Manufacturers of capital goods.

–         Suppliers of goods, where payment is linked to installation/ performance, etc, or where payment is made in stages/ installments.


Sanction Process

a)      Clients approach the bank office directly for preliminary discussions. If the proposal is prima-facie acceptable, the branch will write to the clients principal bank for a confidential opinion. The purpose of enquiry will be clearly stated in the letter.

b)     The clients’ factory will be visited and books of accounts- especially those related to invoices and sundry debtors – subjected to a survey. Based on the application, financial statements and survey report, a proposal is put up for sanction.

c)     On receipt of sanction, a letter will be addressed to the clients’ bank, for modification/ cancellation of post-sale limits he enjoyed and take up the matter with the bank separately. Existing liabilities under such credit facilities will however, continue with the bank, till they are realized/ repaid.

d)     On obtaining the letter of disclaimer, other legal documents will be obtained from the client.

Operational Matters


Prepayment of invoices factored by the client is made by way of factors cheque favoring the clients’ sole/ principal bank. Payee of the cheque is mentioned as: “ABC Bank a/c Client”. This will ensure that the working capital cycle is complete.


Fixing the cost


Generally a bank collects two types of charges from the clients:

v     Service charge of the invoice value, at the time of purchase of invoices.

v     Discount charge at monthly intervals, based on day-to day funds drawn position. The rate varies from client to client depending on the category and factors internal rating. The rates are more or less at par with cash credit interest rates of banks.




It is a natural feature of business that they tend to diversify into other fields. Some times diversification involves a quantum movement by companies into related fields either by developing their own operations into new areas or by acquiring existing business. Quantum diversification may or may not be successful depending on the particular circumstances of the company or companies involved. Which diversifications developed step by step into related fields without making spectacular in roads into unknown territory found most successful?


This step-by-step diversification has characterized the movement into factoring services by banking institutions, though the pace of development has varied greatly from one country to another. In some countries, for instance, it is illegal for Banks to diversify into other fields. It seems certain; however, that Banks will increasingly develop their factoring services and those restrictions on diversification will be substantially relaxed in those countries where they still form a significant barrier.


Over the years, the Banking services are breaking into the multidimensional aspects and the customers around the world are seeking the optimal services facilities associated with the cost of banking services which are being absorbed by those customers.

Time has come for banker to commit themselves to developmental banking required by the customers. In such a situation, factoring attractive because of things like increased cash flow, savings in management time elimination of worry and effort, the ability to expand sales with reliable, creditworthy customers etc the real banker regarding factoring is to disperse these attractions effectively to the existing and prospective customers.


Banks are currently undergoing sweeping changes in functions and forms. This Banking revolution happens due to Service proliferation, Rising competition in the Banking business, Deregulation, Technological revolution, Consolidation & Geographic expansion and Globalization of Banking. Banking is a business undoubtedly. No business firm can survive incurring loss continuously. Unhealthy Banks should be removed from the industry. But if Banks respond to the Public’s changing demand for new services, they need not pass away. One of the main purposes of this study is to show the importance of introducing factoring services in the banking sector ofBangladeshso that Banks can earn more profit and can survive in a proficient manner.




q       Banks are best suited for starting factoring activity at least to begin with. They are in excellent position to persuade customers to use their other banking facilities by seeking their factoring services.

q       There are distinct advantages in the banks being associated with handling of factoring business. Apart from the fact that they gave considerable experience in financing and collection of receivables, they also have access to credit information on both sellers and buyers; besides, their large network of branches, as also availability of sufficient financial resources, would provide additional advantages to them.

q       Introduction of export factoring services inBangladeshwould provide an additional facility to exporters. With the expected growth in international trade, exporters, particularly the smaller ones, are likely to find services of export factoring attractive.

q       Exporters of certain goods like ready-made garments, frozen foods, knitwear and hosiery products, leather, tobacco & tea who are comparatively small on asset base and investment wise but large in number may find the services of export factoring quite helpful and attractive.

q       Among the various organizations, which have been dealing with exporters, banks appear to be more eminently suitable for handling export factoring.

q       Some exporters ofBangladeshlike non-L/C terms. Even those exporters who are now able to secure L/C may find export factoring attractive, as L/Cs, being transaction oriented, are not ideal for repetitive transactions. Also there is growing resistance from overseas buyers to provide L/Cs.

q       Factoring for SSI units could prove to be mutually beneficial to both factor banks and SSI units and factor banks should make every effort to orient their strategy to crystallize the potential demand from this sector.

q        Factoring’s finance taken in isolation as a money-lending operation enjoys the benefit of marginally higher rates than traditional overdrafts and thus provides the banks with an opportunity of improving their margins.

q       Factoring will solve the problems in the areas of working capital, collection of book debts, management efficiency, coverage of bad debt loss, incremental sales and promotion of exports fromBangladesh. Factoring is important among various alternative-financing methods.

q       Factoring would raise good prospects for higher profits for clients through its positive impact on cost, liquidity and capital of the clients. It will provide required cash without increasing debt or diluting equity, generate mire returns than service charges paid to the factor and also improve liquidity through releasing the amount tied up in accounts receivable.



In some cases, the factoring clients were quite unsuitable for a factoring service. On the clients side there were instances of mismanagement or over-trading or failure to use the factor finance wisely or in some cases, downright dishonesty.

On the factors side, there was a lack of experience of factoring in this country, inadequate administration on the sales ledger side, insufficient credit information and a general inexperience in matters of credit appraisal are among those.

Factoring remains and always will be a risky business. Despite the systems of control, there is still the risk that through carelessness or fraud, invoices will be issued in respect of non­existent goods or to non-existent customers. Even the possibility of conspiracy to defraud on the part of the client company and the customer cannot be ruled out and has in fact been the cause of previous failures.

There remains the risk in ‘with recourse’ factoring of the failure of the client company or, in the more usual instance of ‘without recourse’ factoring, the failure of a major customer.

Factoring services are not quite suitable in the following categories of business:

q       Those, which are prone to frequent disputes between sellers and buyers.

q       Those selling principally of cash terms.

q       Those wherein progress payments are involved.

q       Those, which undertake job works.

Most banks ofBangladeshare now suffering from liquidity crisis. They don’t have enough funds for factoring business.

Default culture is now a burning issue inBangladesh. People take loan from banks but don’t like to repayment in due time. In such an appalling situation, the introduction of factoring services and its proper implementation is questionable.

InBangladesh, factoring is totally a new concept. There are not enough rules and regulations to introduce it and to move it smoothly.

As a new concept, bankers are not experience enough to handle factoring activities properly. That means the lack of expertise is a great problem of introducing factoring services.

Default culture increases due to our backdated laws & prolonged judiciary system that also creating barrier in implementing factoring appropriately.

Strong business environment is necessary for introducing factoring services but our business environment is not sound enough for introducing such service.





Factoring has been newly introduced inBangladesh; and international factoring is yet to be introduced. Even the academicians and financial experts are yet to discuss the subject formally. Except in the recent past a few studies has suggested factoring services to facilitate the economic growth and financial discipline in the country.

Recommendations relevant to the field of this new financial service are summarized in this chapter:


  • In the beginning only selected promoter institutions/ banks with good track record offering financial services and competent management should be permitted to enter into this new field. The smaller banks may be persuaded to join the bigger ones to start jointly this activity.
  • At present, Bangladeshi law does not comprehensively deal with various aspects involved in factoring business. So, it would be necessary to promote special legislation to support efficient operations of factoring services inBangladesh.
  • As an efficient financial system, factoring service can sustain itself on a viable basis only if a conducive environment is created and fostered, expeditious steps may be taken by Government to promote legislation, as also to grant appropriate exemptions from and make amendments to the existing laws, to serve the objectives of promoting factoring.
  • A comprehensive legal framework should be developed encompassing the

Various aspects of factoring to define the rights, duties and obligations of

various parties involved in such transactions.


  • Legal framework should be made available whereby invoices involved in factoring transactions should be treated at par with bills of exchange and the factoring agreement treated as irrefutable evidence in the court.
  • Strength of the management, nature of the product and strength of the customers should also be given due weightage.
  • Bangladesh Bank should monitor the performance of the factor banks in terms of capital adequacy, extent of raising public deposits, etc. It should be ensured that the funds raised by factor banks are not used for purposes other than factoring activities.
  • With a view to attaining a balance dispersal of risks, banks should offer their factoring services to all industries and all sectors in the economy.
  • Factoring activities could perhaps be taken up by the BASIC BANK as it has considerable expertise in financing and managing of SSI sector and MSI sector.
  • Introduction of export factoring inBangladeshwill certainly provide an additional window of facility to the exporters; as factors will need uniform rules to operate in the international market.
  • Pricing of factoring services should be reasonable. Banks should keep the cost of funds (of factoring) as low as possible so that clients will prefer this kinds of service.
  • Factoring being an entirely new concept, the business community should first be educated about the nature and scope of these services and the benefits accruing there from. In this regard it perceives that the branches of banks would serve as a useful medium for extensive dissemination of information.
  • The factoring bank must follow the principle of simplification of the rules and procedures to reduce the paper work and consequent delay in giving sanction.
  • Continuous credit rating of the buyers & sellers and proper information have a great importance for the viability and profitability of factoring business
  • A uniform accounting system is required for factoring services inBangladesh. In this regard, Bangladesh bank should initiate suitable action and issue guidelines with the help of professional accountants bodies like the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB), and theInstituteofCostand Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB).
  • Factoring banks should have some support from guarantee/ refinance organizations to bridge their funds position.


The banking business has witnessed a sharp change in their character and composition in nineties due to a number of reformative measures and growing demand of a variety of customer services. In this backdrop, the attention of the bank management is no longer, concentrated only to the traditional banking business viz. Accepting deposits and making loans rather to the provision of a number of ancillary services (specially factoring) bringing them risk less / less risky fee income to sustain profitability. It is now being increasingly realized that the greater dependence on interests income (loans) should not be the prescription for the banks to ensure profitability due to uncertainty in the repayment behavior of Loans. In the couple of years, the dF lining trend in profitability of banks upholds this contention. The bank management inBangladesh, to day, like any other developing countries is facing two-facet challenges to improve their profitability on the one hand and to serve the customers in new ways with greater efficiency and effectiveness on the other hand. In a move to meet that challenge, the banks need to introduce innovativeness and creativity in designing the demand based service mix in order to enable the acceleration of fee income. In the coming years, factoring services will become important as major contributors to bank revenue. This is because the new service technology will not only liberate banking services from the traditional delivery systems, it will inevitably result in much narrower margins in deposit taking and lending. Thus bank decisions about the introducing of factoring services will hold the key to the improvement of profitability of banks in future.

Modern factoring involves a continuing arrangement under which a financing institution assumes the credit and collection functions for its client, purchases his receivables – they arise (with or without recourse to him for credit losses, i.e., customer’s financial inability to pay), maintains the sales ledger, attended to other book keeping duties relating to such accounts receivables and performs other auxiliary functions.

Bangladeshis yet to introduce factoring services but it should not remain a silent spectator to the events happening around and the economic scenario in which she is placed.

This paper showed various prospects of factoring services and some recommendations, which might be taken by the banks to improve their factoring services. Taking all the relevant aspects into account, there are sufficient reasons for considering factoring services to be of much importance in the banking sector ofBangladeshfor re-engineering the financial services in order to compete and survive in the modern and much competitive banking industry.





Banerjee, Prashanta K. (2000). Introduction of Factoring Services in a Developing Economy: Case of Bangladesh,Chandigarh:UniversityBusinessSchool,PanjabUniversity.


Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (1998), Statistical Pocketbook of Bangladesh, Statistics Division, Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.


Deolalkar, G. H and S.N Joshi(1994), FCI Marketing Seminar on International Factoring in Singapore, Mumbai: SBI Factor and Commercial Services Ltd.


Factor Chain International. (2001), Press Information, TheNetherlands: FCI, April 6.


Factor Chain International.(1995).Introduction to International Factoring, The Netherlands: FCI, June.


Klapper, Leora. (2000), ‘The Determinants of Global Factoring’: World Factoring Yearbook 2000,London: BCR Publishing – In Association with FCI, pp.17-21.


Kohnstamm, Jeroen.(1999). Introduction in Michael Bickers, old-World Factoring Yearbook 1999,andLondon: BCR Publishing in Association With Factors Chain International.


Lee, Tony. (1999), ‘The Introduction of the Euro and its Effect on the World Factoring Industry’, in Michael Bickers, ed.: World Factoring Yearbook 1999,London: BCR Publishing – In Association with FCI, pp.15-21.


Reserve Bank of India.(1998).Report of the Study Group (headed by C.S Kalyanasundram) for Examining Introduction of Factoring Services in India, Mumbai :RBI.


Sengupta, A. K. and Kuvalekar, S. V. (1992), Factoring Services,New Delhi: Skylark Publications.


Sengupta, A.K. and Kaveri, V. S. (1999), International Factoring in India – Issues, Problems and Prospects,Delhi: Macmillan India Ltd.


Verma, J. C. (1996), Manual of Merchant Banking (Concepts, Practices and Procedures),New Delhi: Bharat Law House, pp. 1428-1449.


Woelfel, Charles J. (1994), Encyclopedia of Banking and Finance – Tenth Edition,New Delhi: S. Chand & Company Limited.