Issue on behalf of: Bidvest Bank

Aspire Art Auctions has partnered with Bidvest Bank to bring an exciting new finance product to the art market, targeted at art collectors and buyers looking for a credit plan to finance their purchases.

While not a conventional asset class, more attention is being paid to art as a competitive form of investment and an alternative to traditional financial assets in recent years. Over the last 20 years, the art market has massively increased in liquidity and has grown to now be widely appreciated as a genuinely efficient market, with annual global growth around 36%. It is therefore no surprise that the auction house and the bank are partnering to bring an art-specific financial product to market.

Aspire Art Auctions is well-known in the fine art auction business for its innovation, entrepreneurial attitude and ethical approach to all its business dealings. Its partner in the venture, Bidvest Bank, is South Africa’s leading tier-two bank, and has a reputation as an entrepreneurial bank, differentiated from its competitors by its products and its approach to its customers.

As part of The Bidvest Group’s third largest division, Bidvest Bank is focussed on a strategy of growth by diversification.

“We believe that our strategy aligns with that of Aspire – to disrupt and innovate in the ways in which we do things, and we want to be able to support fine art collectors and buyers,” says Japie van Niekerk, MD of Bidvest Bank. “We believe that our Art Finance Plan in partnership with Aspire is a strategic fit with our retail offering and provides us access to a niche market with which we want to be associated.”

The Bidvest Bank Art Finance Plan is suitable for art collectors wanting to obtain funding for gallery purchases or to use their existing art as security.

“This product will allow a wider range of potential collectors access to funding to acquire the art their passion deserves,” Van Niekerk adds. The product is ideal for the fine art auction market which sees art collectors bid on artworks at a wide range of prices, from a few thousand Rands to several millions. In practical terms, it will have some of the following features:

  • The product will help fund prospective art acquisitions at auctions;
  • Bidvest Bank will provide funding for a portion of the total value of the final bid;
  • Aspire will offer sales channels through its office and through a direct link from its website to Bidvest Bank’s credit department;
  • Applicants will submit a funding application on the Aspire page, and Bidvest Bank will conduct a credit check and accept or decline the application based on normal credit criteria and compliance with FICA requirements;
  • Bidvest Bank will endeavour to maintain a 24-hour turn around for approvals;
  • Repayment options and periods will vary from “Bridging Finance” of three months (a minimum period which will attract a higher interest rate), to “Term Loans” of up to 24 months (the maximum period which attracts a lower interest rate); and
  • Depending on the terms of the agreement, the artwork will be retained by Aspire until the debt is settled.

“The Art Finance Plan is something we’re really excited about. Bidvest Bank really understands what our clients’ values are, and what they invest into their art purchases and collections. The Bank is an ideal partner to innovate in the fine art auction market along with us. It’s a pioneering product, unique in South Africa, and we’re hoping that it changes the game,” concludes Aspire Managing Director Ruarc Peffers.