US alternative lender Trade Finance Solutions opens London office on the road to global growth as Europe chief dismisses Brexit worries

Billy Bambrough
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Trade Finance Solutions has opened its first office outside North America as it gears up for global expansion (Source: Getty)

US alternative lender Trade Finance Solutions (TFS) has opened a London office as it targets further expansion outside of North America.

The office opening comes just one day before the UK takes to the polls to vote over its membership of the European Union, which has sparked levels of volatility in the market not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis.

The race is currently too close to call according to the latest polls, though markets are confident the country will vote to remain within the 28 member trading bloc.

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TFS Europe president, Chris Ash, who joined the company from the City of London Group's Trade Finance Partners, told City A.M.:

We will see a short term liquidity problem in financial markets if there is a Brexit vote, though a vote to leave would be good for us, but a vote to remain would also present opportunities.

Stability is always a preference in business, but the markets are pricing in our expectations.

We would be more supportive of the UK staying in the EU though there would be opportunities if we left.

The next office TFS expects to open is in Singapore, which it scheduled for launch in around 12 months time.

Hong Kong is also a possibility for its next office, but Singapore is understood to be the preferred site due to the market there being undeserved.

TFS currently has one client in Europe, a Spanish bio-diesel firm for which it funds the supply chain.

It's aiming to have assets of £100m under management before the end of the year, across a target of 40 European clients.

TFS has grown its business as banks have pulled back from trade lending due to tighter regulations and capital controls following the financial crisis.

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Commenting on the London office opening TFS president, Steve McDonald, said:

This is a significant step forward for TFS and will allow us to continue to expand our global reach.

TFS was established in 2006 and has offices in Toronto and Miami.

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