Total asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) in November 2019 was at a similar level to the same month in 2018, but grew by 6% in the eleven months to November 2019, according to recently released figures by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).

The IT equipment finance sector reported a second consecutive month of strong double-digit growth in November 2019 as new business increased by 41% compared with the same month in 2018.

By contrast, the commercial vehicle finance and plant and machinery finance sectors reported falls in new business of 7% and 6% respectively, over the same period.

Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said: “Increased Brexit-related uncertainty hit business confidence in the final quarter of 2019. However, the asset finance market continued to report growth in the eleven months to November and, within the overall total, new lending to SMEs grew by 5%.

“Our latest research shows that the percentage of investment in machinery, equipment and purchased software funded by FLA members in the 12 months to September 2019 was 37.8%, the highest for almost eleven years.”

In 2018, FLA members provided £136bn of new finance to UK businesses and households. £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.

Form more see the FLA comment by Stephen Haddrill