Nobody yet knows how the UKfilm tax credits (introduced last month) will work in practice, but there isalready evidence of a mini-stampede among British film financiers to cash flowthe new credit. This promises to be a highly lucrative, if short-term,business.
One new company, IvanMcTaggart's Meteor Films, is being set up specifically to cash flow thecredits. Meteor already has investors in place.
Established players such asIngenious and Future Films, among others, are also reported to be cash flowingthe tax credits.
In theory, the tax creditwill be worth 20% to producers but financiers will be charging a hefty fee toadvance money against the credit.
'If you assume a 20%tax credit, people are going to get something between 12% and 15% depending onthe complexity of the transaction,' suggested McTaggart.
'They (financiers) seea short-term opportunity. They will be able to make higher returns becausethey're prepared to take the risk,' said Christine Corner of GrantThornton.
In the long-term, the banksare likely to cash flow the credits, but they won't do so until the new systemis bedded down. 'Yes, we will be actively in the market once the taxcredits are out there. I suspect it will be some time before final details areconfirmed,' said Steve Allen of Barclays Bank.
McTaggart suggested that thenew business will have' a life span of a year or 18 months at most'while the UK industry waits for the banks to step in.