Total asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) grew in January 2022 by 11% compared with the same month in 2021, according to the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).

In the 12 months to January 2022, new business grew by 16% compared with the same period in 2021.

The commercial vehicle finance sector reported new business up by 12% in January compared with the same month in 2021.

The plant and machinery finance and business equipment finance sectors reported new business growth of 9% and 7% respectively, over the same period.

Geraldine Kilkelly, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said: “The strong performance of the asset finance market in January in part reflects the restrictions in place during the third UK lockdown last year.

Nevertheless, new business reported this January has recovered to more normal levels and in line with that reported for January in the five years prior to the pandemic.

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By GlobalData

“The economic outlook in the UK and globally has weakened following the invasion of Ukraine. However, we continue to expect a rebound in business investment during 2022 following several years of underperformance.

“The asset finance industry will play a key role in supporting SMEs and larger businesses to invest in new technologies that will improve productivity and help meet net-zero targets. We, therefore, urge the Government to extend the super-deduction allowance for expenditure on qualifying plant and machinery to include leasing so the industry can support more businesses to recover and grow.”

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