Brexit has been identified by German print firms as their primary current business concern, according to research conducted on behalf of Close Brothers Asset Finance by Censuswide.

With close to a third (30%) of the 100 senior-level respondents selecting Brexit as their main pain point, it came well ahead of issues like competition (14%) and finding extra working capital (15%). In addition, 81% are of the view that Britain’s departure from the European Union will have a detrimental impact on their revenue.

Roger Aust, managing director of Close Brothers Asset Finance’s print division, said: “Brexit’s impact extends well beyond our shores, as evidenced by these results. It clearly demonstrates just how closely the sectors are entwined and how much we depend on each another. It also emphasises how important our continued close business relationships are.”

A recent report from the VDMA, the German printing equipment manufacturers’ association, showed that sales of paper processing equipment increased by 125% to UK customers over the previous year.

Other issues identified by the report included lack of skilled staff (13%) and late payments (9%).

According to the Leaseurope Index, total new leasing volumes reported in Q4 2018 by the sample of firms decreased by 8.6% year-on-year, the first such decline since 2013 and pointing towards a possible ‘Brexit effect’.

The Leaseurope Index tracks key performance indicators of a sample of 23 European lessors on a quarterly basis. The Q4 2018 survey is the thirty-second edition. Aggregate pre-tax profit decreased in 2018 overall compared to 2017, dropping by 6%. This was attributed by Leaseurope to poor performance in Q1 and particularly Q3, with growth in Q4 2018 considered strong compared to 2017 at 18.8%.

Last month, Barclays announced a £14bn lending fund as part of a series of initiatives intended to help SMEs “succeed and flourish” through Brexit.

The dedicated lending fund is for the businesses with turnover of up to £25m. Barclays said the fund would provide loans, commercial mortgages and cash flow funding for investments.