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August 31, 2012updated 12 Apr 2017 4:06pm

Banks back yachts despite cautious terms

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 Februarys 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.

By Jared Fortune

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. 

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