UK business financier Bibby Financial Services (BFS) has increased its funding to European SMEs by 23% year-on-year in the year ended January 2016.

Between January 2015 and January 2016, across all European markets in which it operates, BFS increased funds advanced from €118m to €145m. Ireland and Poland saw the highest growth in funding, as it rose by 28% and 25% respectively.

BFS supports almost 2,000 businesses in Europe through operations in France, Germany, Ireland, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

The financier has seen solid growth in client numbers across Europe since 2007, with average annual growth of 21%.

International chief executive officer at BFS, Steve Box said: "The requirements of our clients are constantly evolving depending on prevailing market and economic conditions and currently, we are seeing more businesses seeking finance to support their export sales growth. This is particularly the case in Ireland – where exports account for around 48 per cent of total economic output – and Poland where a weak Polish Zloty is helping to accelerate export activity."

Earlier this year, Steven Box was appointed as international chief executive officer 8 months after being named European chief executive officer.