Total asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) grew in May 2024 by 9% compared with the same month in 2023, according to new figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).

In the five months to May 2024, new business was 8% higher than in the same period in 2023.

The business new car finance and commercial vehicle finance sectors reported new business up in May by 12% and 8% respectively, compared with the same month in 2023.  Over the same period, new business in the plant and machinery finance and business equipment finance sectors fell by 2% and 11% respectively.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said: “The asset finance market has grown in all but one month so far this year, with the annual total of new business in May reaching a new high of almost £40 billion.  The performance across sectors has varied in line with what was seen for much of 2023 – continued growth in vehicle finance but subdued demand for machinery and business equipment finance.

“Demand from larger businesses has driven growth in the first five months of 2024 as new business increased by 14%, while new lending to SMEs increased by only 3%.  

“We welcome the new Government’s commitment to providing economic stability and laying the foundations to boost growth and, in particular, business investment.  The asset finance industry will play a vital in supporting businesses to invest to grow and to meet net zero targets, funding as much as 40% of UK investment in machinery, equipment and vehicles.”

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