Dear readers, welcome to Basement
Talk,
Leasing Life’s monthly diary page, filled
with the latest gossip and insight on the less visible aspects of
the asset finance industry

 

Four-wheeled problem is enough to send
Lombard around the bend

 

Selling off highly specialised assets at end
of lease is often tough, but especially so when one of the
country’s most outspoken politicians has spent the last eight years
damning them to hell and back.

Poor old Lombard has ended up holding the keys
to London’s hated bendy buses, as they begin to come off lease this
June, and is having a hard time selling the allegedly flammable
58ft vehicles at £80,000 (€91,145) a throw.

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By GlobalData

London Mayor Boris Johnson has spent a
considerable fraction of his time in office raging against the
buses, and expressed wishes last year that they be “pensioned off
to a Scandinavian airport”.

As a result of Johnson’s antipathy, bus
operator Go-Ahead Group has not renewed its seven-year lease on the
flexible deathtraps, and so Lombard must find a home for them
elsewhere. But who will take them?

Speaking to sources within the RBS-fed lease
machine, it would seem that perhaps Johnson wasn’t far off with his
Scandinavian prediction – given the bad press the buses have had in
London, Basement Talk understands that Lombard is looking to Europe
for a sale.

Lombard Salesman Glenn Salmon, who was caught
off guard by the Evening Standard this week, commented: “They have
got a bad reputation because of various press reports but there is
nothing wrong with these buses, they do an excellent job.”

We will be sure to save room in our deals
section for when the offers flood in…

Quackers idea for charity

Mike Boss, the gentleman behind IT finance
broker The Boss Corporation, is preparing to cross the shipping
lanes of the Solent on 6 June, on a Pedalo boat that makes the
nation’s funding lines look robust.

He, along with first mate Mark Nalder, is
braving Neptune’s domain in a plastic duck to raise funds for
Salisbury District Hospital’s Wessex Rehabilitation Centre, which
helped him recover from a severely mangled elbow five years
ago.

Leasing professionals may talk a lot about
providing essential finance to important causes, but few have taken
so direct a route as Boss, who provided the following statement to
readers of Basement Talk: “We keep being told about the
considerable challenge we face in persuading banks and finance
companies to lend money and, since we seem to have coped with that
pretty well, I decided that a slightly more unusual challenge was
in order: to face one of the UK’s busiest shipping lanes in a
duck-shaped pedalo!“

“At The Boss Corporation we are doing our bit
for this cause, and now we’d like to challenge our colleagues and
friends in the finance industry to come together, show we’re very
much alive and kicking, and make a donation [personal or corporate] to see just how much we can raise on our epic voyage!”

The Great Solent Pedal will set off on 6 June,
from Stokes Bay, Gosport. For more information on The Great Solent
Pedal please visit: www.thegreatsolentpedal.com, or to sponsor the
team, direct your attention to
www.justgiving.com/greatsolentpedal.