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April 12, 2019

What is equipment finance? Why it could be good for your business

Equipment finance is undertaken by businesses who do not wish to buy necessary equipment outright but instead choose to lease through a provider instead.

By Christopher Marchant

Equipment finance is undertaken by businesses who do not wish to buy necessary equipment outright but instead choose to lease through a provider instead. This can be for a number of reasons, including preserving lines of credit with a bank, tax purposes, and not wishing to be beholden to a depreciating product.

Below are some example of some equipment finance providers in Europe, the sort of business they offer, and what small and medium businesses could stand to gain through accessing business finance.

Societe Generale Equipment Finance

Societe Generale Equipment Finance is a partner for manufacturers and vendors in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. With a presence in 41 countries and 3,500 employees, Societe Generale Equipment Finance is part of the French banking group Societe Generale.

SG Finans, the Norwegian unit of Societe Generale Equipment Finance’s (SGEF) has received NOK 1.73bn (€180m) from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support green investment by SMEs in the country.

Santander Business Banking

The capacity of Santander Business Banking to provide equipment finance is demonstrated in the following case study:

Santander Business Banking provided £50k asset finance funding to Axminster-based Axe Skip Hire for a 7.5 tonne DAF lorry. Axe Skip Hire will also add a second lorry through the expansion of the asset finance provision from Santander.

The asset finance funding from Santander Business Banking complements a separate funding package provided by the bank to the owners of the business to refinance existing debt and purchase more storage containers and increase capacity at the site in Kilmington.

Wyelands Bank

Wyelands Bank has stated that UK mid-sized manufacturers could be missing out on £183bn in revenues due to insufficient access to loans and equipment finance.

The research surveyed 305 UK mid-sized manufacturers turning over £10m-£300m.  Respondents were senior financial decision makers from a range of manufacturing areas including the machinery and components, computers and electronics, and electrical equipment sectors, amongst others.

The research found that nine out of ten firms (89%) suffered a lack of finance, while each firm said that the difficulties raising finance meant they had missed out on an average of £20m in revenues and an average of 11 new contracts.  This would have enabled each firm to create 10 new jobs.

What is equipment finance? Conclusion

From lorries to pizza ovens businesses need expensive hard assets to grow and thrive. Finance providers can give businesses access to this cash generating equipment immediately, and equipment finance can therefore provide a lifeline across a wide range of industry sectors.

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