Figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that asset finance new business overall grew in July by 8% compared with the same month last year.
New business for deals of up to £20m increased by 7% over the same period. Total FLA asset finance was £3.075bn (€3.45bn).
The plant and machinery finance, and commercial vehicle finance sectors reported new business up in July by 12% and 13% respectively, compared with the same month in 2018, while the car finance sector saw growth of 6%.
Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “The asset finance market made a solid start to the third quarter of 2019. Despite subdued levels of business investment, the industry has seen new business grow by 7% in the twelve months to July.
“The commercial vehicle finance and construction equipment finance sectors have returned strong performances in 2019 so far, with new business up in the first seven months of 2019 by 17% and 22% respectively.”
Business equipment finance recorded an 11% year-on-year decline to £195m. Car finance was up 6% to £876m.
By channel, direct finance was up 11% year-on-year to £1.47bn. Broker introduced finance was up 4% to £564m. Sales finance was up 2% to £800m.
By product, finance leasing saw a 15% rise to £351m. Operating leasing recorded a 1% year-on-year fall to £536m. Lease and hire purchase was up 15% to £1.78bn, while other forms of finance were down 14% to £313m.
In 2018, FLA members provided £136bn of new finance to UK businesses and households. Of this £33bn of finance was provided to businesses and the public sector. FLA members financed around third of UK investment in machinery, equipment and purchased software in the UK in 2018.
This month there were 58 graduates of the Diploma in Asset Finance, nearly double the amount of graduates compared to last year.
Now in its second year, the qualification was developed jointly with the London Institute of Banking & Finance and the FLA, in consultation with the asset finance industry, to establish common standards and recognise the skills and expertise of those in the sector.