Northridge Finance to grow
broker-sourced business by up to 20%.


The leasing arm of GE Capital has seen
a “strong increase” in the amount of business it receives from
brokers, Leasing Life has learned.

The move signals a return of confidence in the
UK leasing marketplace, particularly as it coincides with rumours
that Barclays Asset & Sales Finance has also returned to
receiving intermediary-sourced business.

GE Capital is known to be active on the broker
market through two specific lending divisions, one of which
specialises in dealing with construction plant.

A spokesman said: “While GE Capital’s leasing
business in the UK is primarily built around supporting our strong
vendor partnerships and engaging new vendor relationships, we
continue to work with an approved introducer panel.”

The spokesman added: “We have been encouraged
to see an uplift in opportunities in the first few months of 2010,
as demand has risen for our ability to structure large-ticket
leases for our introducers’ customers.”

The spokesman explained that, following the
consolidation of GE’s holdings in the UK into a single GE Capital
business during 2009, the company had seen “a strong increase” in
business flowing in from intermediary sources. These include
introducers from the professional services sector as well as
traditional lease brokers.

Elsewhere, Northridge Finance, the GB trading
arm of Bank of Ireland’s asset finance subsidiary NIIB, is looking
to grow its asset finance book by about 15% to 20% this year.

Lending in general asset finance will focus on
agricultural assets, which currently make up around 20% of
Northridge’s business. Sales in this sector are managed by
agriculture specialist Mark Danter.

In addition to its agricultural business,
Northridge is primarily a motor funder working through
intermediaries and dealerships across the UK, and intends to grow
this business with equal energy.

According to Danter, the company’s focus
reflects the fact that most of Northridge’s bad debt exposure
during the recession was concentrated in its relatively small
construction and haulage portfolios, with agriculture performing
relatively well.

Currently, Northridge works with most of the
country’s major agricultural finance brokers, including First
Independent Finance. According to Danter, it will possibly add more
brokers with agricultural finance experience to its asset finance
panel throughout 2010.

Finally, rumours have surfaced that Barclays
Asset & Sales Finance is considering a return to brokerland.
Leasing Life stresses this has not been substantiated by
BA&SF, but reflects that it would not be a surprising