New figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that total asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) grew in March 2023 by 14% compared with the same month in 2022. In Q1 2023, new business was also 14% higher than in Q1 2022.

The business new car and commercial vehicle finance sectors reported new business up in March by 54% and 23% respectively, compared with the same month in 2022. The plant and machinery finance sector reported new business growth of 20% over the same period.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said:

“The asset finance market reported a record level of monthly new business in March of more than £4 billion.  Inflationary pressures have contributed to higher average advances across asset finance sectors, but volumes have also either grown or been maintained.

“Our latest figures show the vital support the asset finance industry is providing for business investment across the UK economy. New asset finance lending to SMEs remained robust, growing by 22% compared with March 2022.  New lending to all major industry sectors – manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and services – also increased in March.”

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By GlobalData