Lombard Marine Finance (LMF) has reported that business written during the first half of this year’s Southampton Boat Show has been double that written during the same period last year – the latest sign that the lower end of the marine finance market may have begun to move again, after bottoming out at the start of the year.
The Southampton Boat Show (SBS), a ten day event focused on new boat sales in the sub-€5 million bracket, opened with optimistic statements about rises in enquiries from LMF, and from fellow exhibitor Barclays Marine Finance (BMF).
LMF and BMF have virtually had the UK market to themselves since the exit of HBOS last year, and LMF in particular seems to have expanded its market share, reporting business up 6 percent year-on-year at the end of H1 2009.
BMF, while having written 120 marine mortgages in the first half of this year – 25 percent down on last year’s first half total of 160 – has recently expanded its sales team, and is taking advantage of the current boom in the used boat market, with 77 percent of enquiries relating to previously owned craft.
Yet while Lombard seems to be moving quickly to cover the lower value range of the marine market, BMF may prove to have greater reach, with the advantage of strong links to Barclays Commercial’s Corporate Jets & Superyachts team.
For a full analysis of the outlook for marine finance, see October’s Leasing Life.