Exclusivebenefits (EB) has teamed up
with a large UK organisation in the legal profession and plans
further partnerships to strengthen its position and cope better
with the current market turmoil which significantly hit income
levels last year.
The Bristol-based company, which provides
business and personal finance to the legal profession sector, in
January secured a major new relationship with the Solicitors Group,
a mainstream commercial organisation specialising in services for
the legal profession, which include exhibitions and accredited
training for lawyers.
EB’s chairman Roger Gazzard said: “We have
linked up with the Solicitors Group as the providers of specialist
finance and will be its sole sponsored company providing lending
facilities to its members.”
He explained that EB will provide “everything
that the individual or the firm could want by way of finance”, from
tax and VAT payments, disbursement programmes, car and contract
hire, equipment solutions, and personal finance for individual
lawyers and employees in the legal sector.
But he stressed that the finance solutions
provided are “an addition to a bank facility, not as a replacement
for them, and hopefully we are providing appropriate specialist and
specifically needed products for everything from cash-flow or
disbursement funding through to car finance”.
EB said it will also continue its existing
relationships with key partners, which include lawyers,
optometrists, dentists, veterinaries and chartered surveyors.
Gazzard said that in 2009 EB also plans to
establish other new relationships.
He said: “We currently are in advanced state
of discussions with two other links in the specialist profession
sector that we hope to secure during the first half of 2009.”
The company saw a decline in business in 2008,
which accelerated over the course of the second semester because of
more stringent credit requirements from lenders alongside the
withdrawal of a number of lenders.
It predicts a 30 to 40 percent drop in income
in 2009, due to the general downturn in global markets. Last year
it made the decision to restructure the business, partly in order
to cut costs.