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Factoring, a rapidly changing sector

Late 2022, Céline Ansquer was appointed Head of Factor France and Iberia, the BNP Paribas subsidiary specializing in factoring. In this exclusive interview, she looks back on the highlights of the past year, discusses the challenges facing the factoring sector in France and Europe and sets out her ambitions for this subsidiary which is due to celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2024.

What is factoring exactly?

It is a means of financing and debt collection that allows businesses to obtain advance funding. Invoices are paid within 24 hours* with coverage of non-payment risks which bolsters the company’s cash flow. It is a solution aimed at BtoB activities and which adapts to companies of all sizes, including VSBs/SMBs.

*on average

Factoring, an essential source of financing for businesses: 

Céline Ansquer: the usefulness of our business line in the service of the real economy now goes without saying. We are proud to serve more than 5,000 companies of all sizes every day, from VSBs up to the CAC 40 companies. As the leading source of short-term financing for businesses in France, we derive great satisfaction from our role and our usefulness alongside the business managers of the French Commercial Banking with whom we work hand in hand. We are an integral part of Commercial Banking in France, which brings us all the strength of its network, its solidity, and which fully taps into commercial and business synergies. The longevity of relationships with our clients is evidence of the trust they place in us. 

"Another key feature of BNP Paribas Factor France and Iberia is its particularly human dimension. With nearly 450 employees, we benefit from a close-knit relationship. Finally, BNP Paribas Factor is also all about the diversity of its teams and its geographical areas. Some employees have participated in the development of our company for almost 30 years. Mobility, profiles of different backgrounds, expertise and experiences: this is also what makes us strong."

Factoring, a growing sector:

Céline Ansquer: in Europe as in France, factoring, a short-term financing solution made up of several modular services for clients (financing and collection of invoices, coverage of unpaid debts), has witnessed double-digit growth for several years. Post-Covid and to finance their cash flow needs, companies have favoured factoring solutions against the backdrop of increasing inflation and the rising cost of raw materials, not to mention the end of state-guaranteed loans. In 2023, the factoring market continued to expand enjoying growth of 6.4% in the first half of the year, despite a slowdown compared to 2022, a record year with nearly 421.5 billion euros in invoices covered (up 15.5%). 

< Céline Ansquer, Head of BNP Paribas Factor France and Iberia

Securing company cash flows: 

Céline Ansquer: today, nearly 33,000 companies use factoring in France. They are seeking a source of financing to benefit from immediate cash flow, enable them to pay their expenses, fulfil their orders, etc.
In a period marked by uncertainty, they are also keen to secure their customer position and protect themselves from unpaid debts. This was reinforced in 2023, with the deterioration of companies’ payment behaviour. Late payments observed by Altarès now extend to 12 days on average. The trend is therefore towards anticipation and securing cash flow.

The needs differ depending on the scale of the company:

  • Professionals and entrepreneurs are looking for simple, flexible, pragmatic solutions that allow them to get paid within the day. We have therefore redefined our flat-rate range through packaged and differentiated solutions. Our First packages allow independent management of invoice financing with increased digitalization of services and remote support in the event of occasional needs. Our Premium packages include a stronger local dimension, to provide business leaders with day-to-day advice on their cash optimization strategy.
  • Corporate clients ask us for tailor-made solutions. We fully adapt to their needs. I can tell you about two major developments over the last few months: 
    - These corporate clients are often internationally oriented: we have strengthened our pan-European service offering and are covering more territories such as Oceania and North America in 2023. 
    - We have also developed a research tax credit financing offer to support innovation, which is doing really well.
we have strengthened our pan-European service offering and are covering more territories such as Oceania and North America in 2023. 

What are the aims of your strategic plan?

Céline Ansquer : Today we are in line with the trajectory that we set for ourselves as part of the 22-25 Plan. In terms of development, we benefit from a range of solid solutions which continues to expand to meet the needs of our customers. It is also essential to continue strengthening our local presence and networking with the French Commercial Banking teams, in order to promote factoring as a service with high added value for clients.

I am closely tuned into the customer experience and customer orientation, which is why we launched the Advocacy approach while capitalizing on the work of the French Commercial Banking in this area in recent years. We have chosen to start by reviewing the processing of complaints, both to pick up on more customer feedback, but also to deal with those reasons for customer dissatisfaction that come back the most. This is a great lever for identifying irritants to address within our organization and in our processes.  

What are the synergies between factoring and sustainable finance?

Céline Ansquer : we recently asked our clients about their CSR commitment dynamics: 82% of the business leaders surveyed feel involved or very involved in this matter and more than half of large companies consider that CSR is a determining criterion in their choice of the Factor.

In 2023, we developed an “Impact Factor” offer for our corporate clients. We partner with the Commercial Bank in France and CIB to work with these clients already supported by the Bank, through a solution which complements the factoring contract and which makes it possible to integrate their dynamic CSR commitment throughout the financing chain.

"BNP Paribas Factor France will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2024. Our business line has a bright future ahead and we are preparing for the next decade with lots of enthusiasm! Beyond this thirty-year mark, we will be focused on pursuing our strategic plan around the 4 pillars: a growing factor for sustainable finance, an innovative factor recognized by its clients, a high-performance factor that is a benchmark on the market and of course a responsible factor that invests in human capital." 

Céline Ansquer

Head of BNP Paribas Factor France and Iberia

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BNP Paribas Factor 

BNP Paribas Factor is a subsidiary of the Commercial Bank in France specializing in factoringInvoice financing, management and coverage of accounts receivable, debt recovery, are the main solutions offered by BNP Paribas Factor to its clients.

Link to BNP Paribas Factor website

Key figures


clients work with us on a day-to-day basis

9 M

invoices processed every year

No. 1 network

for factors in Europe.

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