Three-quarters of UK brokers have used asset finance to help businesses release capital by lending on assets completely unrelated to the purpose of the loan.

Research from funder United Trust Bank (UTB) showed 75% of brokers had signed finance agreements using unrelated assets owned by businesses to help generate cash-flow.

Martin Nixon, United Trust Bank’s head of Asset Finance, said he believes traditional lenders are continuing to be "restrictive" with their lending while the UTB research shows the majority of brokers "creatively help businesses" use asset finance to release the capital from their assets for a wide variety of uses.

He said UTB had worked a broker partner in such a deal and had advanced £300,000 secured against a fleet of unencumbered excavators which gave the end client the necessary cash-flow to complete incoming contracts.

The research also indicates the majority of brokers have a positive outlook for their business over the next 12 months with 62% expecting volumes of asset finance business to increase and 28% expecting volumes to at least stay the same.

When asked about lender’s interest rates and charges, 81% of brokers felt interest rates would remain the same for the next year while 16% predicted a rise.
Nixon added: "I believe that the more varied uses to which asset finance is being put is one of the reasons why brokers are generally optimistic about their 2012 business volumes and their outlook for 2013 and beyond."

The latest business volumes from broker trade body the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers showed broker-introduced leasing and asset finance doubled year-on-year in the 12 months to September.