Finance broker funding provider Close Brothers Business Finance has appointed a national sales director.

David Forbes is an internal appointment who has spent close to four years in a similar role in the Asset Finance business. Forbes began his career as part of the Yorkshire Bank Graduate programme before moving into FMCG sales and a career at Mars UK. He joined Lombard in 1999 and spent 16 years in leadership roles across a variety of asset finance divisions.

Forbes said: “The team at Close Brothers Business Finance is one of the most talented and passionate in our industry with an enviable reputation for customer service and I’m delighted to now be part of that team. Having the history, brand and culture of the business behind me provides an excellent opportunity to grow the business strategically within our target markets.”

Ian Aitchison, managing director at Close Brothers Business Finance, said: “David Forbe’s arrival as national sales director is a clear sign of our continued ambition to both grow our business and to consolidate our position as one of the leading funders for brokers.

“Getting someone of David’s calibre on board is a serious statement of intent and further evidence of our commitment to brokers, who we aim to help thrive through all economic cycles in their respective markets.”

Despite a temporary two-year boost in the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA), research from Close Brothers Asset Finance has found that UK SMEs have no firm plans to take advantage of the increase.

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From 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020 an increase in the AIA has been introduced by the government. This is to enable faster tax relief for plant and machinery investments between £200,000 and £1m, with the aim of helping businesses to invest and grow. Introduced in 2008, it is an allowance for tools and equipment meaning a business can write off 100% of qualifying capital expenditure against taxable profits for the same period.