Hitachi Capital Business Finance has added soft asset finance to its product range in the UK.

Additional to its hard asset funding areas, it will be including gym, medical, IT, garage and media equipment, along with food processing, textiles and new vending machines.

Gavin Wraith-Carter, managing director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance said: "Given there are 5.4 million small businesses in the UK which form the backbone of the UK economy, expanding our risk appetite to offer funding for soft assets is yet another move which demonstrates how we are going the extra mile for the SME community. Providing practical and helpful solutions geared to the challenges that SMEs face in today’s economic climate is our main focus for change. We are always looking at ways to strengthen our business and it’s important to us to provide the right financial solution to help small enterprises secure assets and fulfil their ambitions. After asking our customers how we could better serve them, funding soft assets were something that emerged as a top priority, so as a listening organisation we have done something about it."

Hitachi said widening asset categories made it easier for brokers to place business with Hitachi Capital, resulting in greater funding opportunities for SMEs.

Wraith-Carter said: "Making it easier for the customer to access finance is vital and doing this while supporting the broker industry is the backbone of our business. Providing exceptional service from exceptional people to our brokers, while being easy to do business through a wide range of asset types means that the whole experience that brokers can offer to their SME customers is enhanced."