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February 5, 2015updated 12 Apr 2017 3:54pm

2014 record growth year for asset finance

Asset finance new business reached £25.4bn (€33.68bn) in 2014, an increase of 13% compared to the previous year, according to the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA).

By Brian Cantwell

Asset finance new business reached £25.4bn (€33.68bn) in 2014, an increase of 13% compared to the previous year, according to the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA).

The association said the annual rate of growth, 13%, was the highest recorded for at least seven years.

In 2014, plant and machinery equipment finance increased by 21% compared to the year before, with total leasing and hire purchases of £5.83bn.

Business equipment finance increased by 13% in the same time period, reaching £2.185bn, while IT equipment finance saw a 5% growth on its market with £1.624bn given to companies.

Aircraft, ships and rolling stock finance market shrank in 2014, as businesses from these sectors received only £263m . This was a 14% decline compared to 2013.

Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at FLA, said: "The figures show a strong recovery in the asset finance market in 2014. Businesses were keen to use leasing and hire purchase to invest in a wide range of assets, with particularly strong growth in new finance for production plant, agricultural equipment and construction equipment.

The core market of deals of up to £20 million wrote new business of £24.6 billion in 2014, and is on target to surpass its pre-crisis peak in 2015."

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