Despite the pessimism of the current economic
climate, both Barclays and RBS asset finance arm Lombard have
signalled renewed commitment to marine finance – although perhaps
with more stringent lending criteria than in years gone by.

Bob Atkinson, Barclays’ vice president of
credit structuring, corporate jets and superyachts, acknowledged at
February’s Superyacht Fiscal Summit that the days of ‘yacht finance
for all’ had disappeared, making way for a period of increased
client scrutiny and mutually beneficial arrangements.

In a recent article published by Superyacht
News, Atkinson is claimed to have mentioned that ‘deals are
continuing to be done with clients that wish to use finance and
offer Barclays residual benefits.’

Atkinson said: “Banks lent a lot of money in
2006-2009 to businesses that shouldn’t have been granted loans in
the first place,” and he feels that a return to a similar status
quo is unlikely.

Ian Braham, head of marine finance at Lombard,
is also said to be continuing to offer a superyacht finance
proposition to “UK clients and clients based outside of the UK who
bank with the RBS Group.”

Although both Barclays and Lombard continue to
lend to the ‘right people’, transactions for both new and second
hand yachts have slowed significantly.

Braham admitted 2012 has seen “a lower level
of demand for financing new build and second hand superyachts than
in previous years”.

Will Mathieson, reporter for Superyacht News,
surmised from Braham’s explanation that “the need for owners
at the lower end of the market to boost their liquidity is a
symptom of the struggling global economy, and has forced far too
many vessels on to the second hand market.”

“We have seen an increase in demand for
refinance for superyachts already owned as owners seek to release
some of the equity they have in their yachts” said
Braham.