Figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show asset finance new business up in the month of July by 8% in year-on-year comparison.

New business for deals of up to £20m increased by 10% over the same period.

IT equipment finance and commercial vehicle finance report new business for July 2018 up by 60% and 15% respectively. Plant and machinery finance and business equipment finance saw modest growth of 1% and 4% over the same period.

However, finance leasing was down 6% year on year, to £303m. The overall rises derived from an 8% increase in lease and hire purchase, and a massive 53% improvement in alternative forms of finance agreement.

Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “The asset finance market rebounded in July despite subdued business investment as a result of Brexit-related uncertainty.

“Key sectors of the economy are using leasing and hire purchase to finance investment in equipment, with particularly strong growth in new finance provided for construction and agricultural equipment, up by 31% and 14% respectively, compared with July 2017.”

By channel, there was a 22% rise in broker introduced finance year-on-year, to £530m. There were respective rises of 6% and 9% for direct finance and sales finance, to £1.36bn and £776m.

The April results for the market also showed a position of strength, with a 7% increase for year-on-year results.

In 2017, FLA members provided £128bn of new finance to UK businesses and households.  In addition, £32bn of finance was provided to businesses and the public sector. FLA members financed a third of UK investment in machinery, equipment and purchased software in the UK in 2017.