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Asset finance "stable" says FLA

The Finance & Leasing Association ("FLA") reports that the value of asset finance new business (principally comprising hire purchase and leasing) written in November 2017 was £2.5 billion, about the same as November 2016. The FLA's head of research and chief economist, Geraldine Kilkelly, told us, “The asset finance market reported a broadly stable picture across the main asset sectors in November, and remains on course to report a record level of annual new business in 2017 of around £32 billion."

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Brokers expect great 2018, says UTB

The most recent broker sentiment poll by United Trust Bank ("UTB") has revealed that despite the challenges presented by Brexit uncertainty, a downgrading of UK economic growth and a cooling of the residential property market in some areas, most brokers enjoyed a successful 2017 and are positive about the year ahead. The poll, carried out amongst over 140 intermediaries operating in property and asset finance, found that one third (33pct) achieved better business results than expected last year and a further 43pct found their performance to be around what they’d planned. Just 2pct felt they’d had a poor 2017...

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HHF celebrates record growth

Independent lender Henry Howard Finance ("HHF") saw record portfolio growth in 2017, cementing the Group’s position as one of the country’s leading funders for UK Plc. The lender supported more than 8,000 businesses with asset-based lending facilities during 2017, an increase of 34 pct compared to the 6,000 companies assisted in 2016. For the first time, the combined asset-based lending divisions paid out more than £100million of funding, marking a significant milestone in HHF’s journey.

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Transport sector speeding towards GDPR

Less than a quarter (23pct) of Transport firms truly understand what ‘personal data’ means, while the same number answered that they did not; the remaining 54pct were unsure of its meaning, according to Close Brothers Asset Finance. John Fawcett, CEO, Transport division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, said, "Keeping customer data secure is becoming one of the key issues of our times with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018."

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Asset Finance will soar, says UTB

A recent ‘broker sentiment’ poll, carried out by United Trust Bank (“UTB”) amongst intermediaries operating in the asset finance sector, has found that 39pct believe demand for asset finance funding will continue to increase next year. In addition to the 39pct who expect demand to increase, 25pct of brokers expect demand from SMEs for asset finance to stabilize, and 8pct feel activity will decline. However, 28pct of brokers were...

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Check out the latest edition of BrokerWorld

On the road? Snowbound at home?? Check out DECEMBER's BrokerWorld on the free BrokerWorld APP. This month's edition leads with the creation of a new broker association, FIBA.Then there's the month's Notable Deals including United Trust Bank's £1.7 million refinance for a plant hire client. There's a Profile of Paragon Business Finance, and all the fun of the fair from the Christmas broker parties and events. The BW APP also gives you free access to the year's past editions.

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Lender reliability is key, says UTB

Six out of ten brokers are increasingly considering reliability and stability of lenders when placing new business, according to a new survey carried out by United Trust Bank ("UTB"). The recent broker sentiment poll asked brokers operating in the property finance and asset finance sectors if the stability and reliability of lenders was a factor when placing new business and nearly two thirds (60pct) of the 146 respondents indicated that it was. 36pct said ‘No’ and the remaining 4pct didn’t know.

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Tis the season to be bubbly

United Trust Bank (UTB) is currently running a refinance promotion which enables registered brokers to receive a luxury Harvey Nichols hamper for a refinance case over £50,000 which completes by the end of January 2018. The broker will receive, not just a bottle, but a case of champagne for a second or any subsequent qualifying transactions completing by that date. That gives you nearly two months to pull something suitable together, and, equally important, five weeks to recover from Christmas excess before the hamper arrives and the consumption cycle resumes in February 2018!

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Aldermore shines light on White Paper

Following the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy White Paper on 27th November, Carl D’Ammassa, Aldermore’s Group Managing Director, Business Finance, says there is an astonishing lack of awareness around it. Carl says, "It is early days for the Government’s new Industrial Strategy; however, it appears that the lofty ambitions for the Strategy are yet to translate into awareness. The green paper was announced to much fanfare earlier this year, but our recent Future Attitudes study, which surveyed over a thousand senior SME decision makers across the UK, revealed an astonishing lack of awareness about the Strategy, with fewer than three in ten (29pct) small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) claiming to have heard about it." 

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Expand or educate?

At last night’s NACFB Gala Dinner we took the opportunity to speak to a range of lenders and brokers, and found they tended to divide into two camps; those with ambitious plans for expansion in 2018, and those who were focusing on upskilling existing staff. In both cases, these 2018 plans have consequences well beyond the end of next year, and both camps will be relying on the imparting of knowledge during a period of events that are proving hard to predict. 

 

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Hitachi hears of post-EU opportunities

Nearly half of the UK's small business owners (46 pct) predict clear opportunities for their business as a result of Brexit according to recent research by Hitachi Capital Business Finance. This research was conducted over a period that included a general election and, of course, Brexit negotiations. Hitachi Capital said, "This suggests SME viewpoints are not mere knee-jerk reactions at a moment in time, but are firmly held views on real business opportunity." Whilst the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s withdrawal from the EU has been seen by some as a basis for gloom, many small business owners regard the period of change as presenting tangible opportunities.

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SMEs and the postcode lottery

Graham Toy, CEO of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers, writes: An October Sage and Nesta report titled The State of Small Business: Putting UK entrepreneurs on the map has uncovered a ‘postcode lottery’ of small business productivity. Its findings reveal SMEs in the most active local authority, the City of London, are 26 times more productive than the least, West Somerset. In the City of London, each worker at a small and medium business is worth £1.45 million in company turnover. In West Somerset it falls to as little as £56,500. So, what is it apart from 175 miles that separates the two?

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Fresh look for Paragon

Paragon’s Asset Finance operations are adopting a new look under a simplified Paragon brand, as the fast-growing FTSE 250 UK banking group embarks on the next stage of its ambitious growth strategy.

Following strong growth in Paragon’s asset finance lending in the first half of this year, the new look underpins plans to expand lending through intermediary partners, as well as corresponding with Paragon’s extension of sector coverage.

The company has added capability in Agriculture, Aviation, Fleet and Logistics, and in the Medical and Professional sectors. This builds upon the lender’s established expertise in the Commercial Vehicle, Business Equipment, Construction, Invoice Finance, Print, Pro-AV and Broadcast sectors. In addition, two new names have joined the team...

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Franchise Finance has ambition for growth

Specialist provider Franchise Finance Ltd prides itself on sharing  independent reviews from satisfied customers on its website to evidence what those customers thinkg of the company's service levels. Now as the company plans to build on this foundation, you might be in a position to help it grow. A recruitment drive is under way - but who are they looking for?

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Maxxia looking to build momentum

The Maxxia Group is looking to continue its dynamic UK expansion, which has seen its turnover triple in the in the last three years, with the recruitment of a number of new asset finance brokers. Chief Revenue Officer Julian Humphreys explains, "We are looking for experienced asset finance people that will add further value to our business."

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Growing Your Business through Technology

Leaseteam talks you through your technology strategy. Technology is what enables your business to be innovative, to accelerate and to grow. So when you think in terms of your technology needs, you should also be thinking about how much, how fast and in what direction you want to grow your business. Technology is not just the cost of doing business—it’s the opportunity to do more. Here's how...

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AF-PA events planned

Survey responses point the way for AF-PA's future. Respondents expressed an interest in more networking events, two of which should already be in your diaries - see below.

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Ratesetter bonds with Experian

Peer to peer lender RateSetter and global information services company Experian have announced a new partnership which aims to help RateSetter make good credit decisions as it grows its commercial finance operation. RateSetter investors have lent more than £2 billion to a diverse range of individuals and businesses across the UK since the platform launched in 2010, and around one third of RateSetter’s active loans are to businesses.  Business lending is spread across all major business sectors, from manufacturing to healthcare services to hotels and restaurants, with maximum loan size of £750,000 and current average loan size of £70,000. 

 

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New face at BrokerWorld

Robin Skuse has joined BrokerWorld as Associate Editor. He was previously at the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers for six years, as Marketing and Press Officer, starting with the trade association when it was still in its original offices in Exeter . . 

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HHF in major new partnership

Henry Howard Finance (“HHF”) has teamed up with a major UK CCTV and security distributor to offer asset finance solutions to businesses seeking affordable access to state-of-the-art CCTV, Fire and Security systems. The exclusive deal, launched this month, makes leasing agreements available to security installers who purchase their equipment from Hertfordshire-based firm Infinite Distribution.

Infinite Distribution, which has been distributing high-tech and bespoke CCTV systems since 2013, has over doubled in size in the last twelve months. It is expected that a partnership between the innovative distributor and the award-winning Henry Howard Vendor Finance team, will drive their increasing sales volumes even further.

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1pm gets Positive Cashflow

1pm's Directors believe that Positive Cashflow, which services clients predominantly in the North and Midlands, will complement Gener8 Finance, which was acquired by the Group in May 2017 and which caters predominantly for the South. The resulting Commercial Finance Division will be comparable in size to the Group’s Asset Finance and Loans divisions.

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New head of specialist vehicle valuations at Aldermore

Aldermore, the specialist bank, has just announced the appointment of Tim Bearder as Head of Specialist Vehicle Valuations, a key role within the Bank’s Business Finance division. Tim, whose career spans over 35 years in the motor industry, brings extensive knowledge and experience to the role supporting the Bank’s ambition of gaining a greater share of the specialist car market. He will be responsible for vehicle valuations in the newly created Specialist Car team at Aldermore, having previously held several senior positions with various manufacturers including Porsche and Aston Martin...

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FIBA names Adam Tyler as Chairman

The Financial Intermediary & Broker Association (“FIBA”), which hosts its inaugural annual conference on the 17th January in London, has appointed Adam Tyler to lead the new trade body. FIBA has emerged from the AOBP and tells us it has “a uniquely diverse range of brokers and intermediaries from across the financial spectrum. The existing membership has been traditionally aligned to the bridging and development sector and its wide range of lenders. This forms a strong base of support and the intention is to reach out and attract brokers...

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BBB and Simply Asset Finance unlock £60m

Simply Asset Finance has agreed a new facility with the British Business bank which will unlock £60m of funding for SMEs in the UK. This transaction is the sixth under British Business Bank’s ENABLE Funding programme since it was started in September 2015, and during that period it has supported lending to more than 10,000 businesses...

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Praetura promotes Simmons

Praetura Asset Finance has announced the promotion of Ric Simmons to the board of directors. Following another record-breaking year for the independent asset finance funder, the newly created role of sales director is part of the next growth phase for the company. One of the original members of the team that established Praetura Asset Finance just five years ago, Simmons has worked in the asset finance industry for over 15 years.

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Van sales down for first time in 5 years

The new light commercial vehicle ("LCV") market declined in 2017, representing a 3.6pct year-on-year drop, according to the latest figures shared with us by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders ("SMMT"). This is the market’s first decline since 2012, and the decline was especially marked in demand for light vans (under two tonnes), where demand fell by more than 20pct.

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FCA names new chair from 1st April

Charles Randell has been named as the new chair of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with effect from 1st April. Randell will serve a five year term and takes over from John Griffith-Jones, the current chairman, who took the role five years previously. FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey said, “I am very pleased to welcome Charles to the FCA. His experience of regulation, both during the financial crisis and more recently as a member of the Prudential Regulation Committee, mean that he has a strong understanding of the challenges that the FCA faces.”

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Syscap rebrands to Wesleyan Bank

Syscap, the UK’s leading IT finance specialist, has changed its name to Wesleyan Bank with effect from 2 January 2018. The rebranding took place to unify the company’s operations under one brand and offer a simplified customer experience, and follows the success of Wesleyan Bank since its acquisition of Syscap in February 2015 which has seen the company double its net lending to UK businesses...

 

 

 
 
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BBB boosts Tower Leasing by £25.5 million

The British Business Bank (“BBB”) has agreed to deliver a £25.5m funding facility to Tower Leasing to provide asset finance for SMEs. This represents the government-backed bank’s first transaction of 2018 under the ENABLE Funding programme. Last November's Budget statement increased the amount of UK government funding received by the British Business Bank from £3.7bn to £6.2bn...

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HHF invests in IT

Henry Howard Finance (HHF), one of the largest alternative finance providers in Wales, has increased the size and scope of its internal IT team with a series of key appointments. Expansion of the division has been led by Gavin Dowding, Head of IT, who initially joined the business in 2016 to support Henry Howard Finance’s ongoing growth plans. Gavin is supported by Head of Infrastructure, James Taylor, who was recruited in August from Olive Communications to ensure the firm’s network and cyber security systems operate efficiently and securely at all times. Earlier this month, Greg Merriman, an experienced web applications developer also joined the team to ensure the continued success of HHF’s unique online deal management portal, ‘HowApp’, which launched in 2015.

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A new solution for FCA hire fees

A group of lessors, including One pm, Kennet Leasing, Tower Leasing and Henry Howard, is calling on others in the industry to respond to a Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA") consultation on possible changes to the ways the regulator charges its costs to regulated firms. At present the FCA fees for regulated credit agreements such as hire-purchase are based on the interest charged, but fees for regulated hire agreements are based on the total rental payments. As a result, the FCA ‘levy’ on a £20,000 hire agreement might be £20 per year compared to £5 per year for a similar credit arrangement.

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Horne makes new home at MAF

John Horne, previously of Barclays Mercantile and Lombard, has joined Midlands Asset Finance (“MAF”) in the position of senior relationship manager. Horne becomes MAF’s sixth new appointment in 2017, a year of significant growth for the business...

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Transport firms drive forward

SMEs operating in the transport industry are demonstrating resilience to the uncertainty in the UK economy, according to Hampshire Trust Bank's latest SME Growth Watch Report. The research found nearly a quarter (24pct) of smaller firms in the transport and distribution sector have plans to expand in the next 12 months. This corresponds to the trends which Hampshire Trust Bank reports it is seeing in its day-to-day business. Jon Maycock, Managing Director of Asset Finance at Hampshire Trust Bank, said, “New car registration data shows electric plug-in cars recorded strong year-on-year growth...

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Diesel faces decline, says BVRLA

The total business fleet leasing market for cars and vans has grown 2.5pct year-on-year to 1,338,000, according to findings from the latest Quarterly Leasing Survey by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA). It’s an upswing that comes off the back of two consecutive quarters of growth. The BVRLA also revealed at its recent Industry Outlook Conference that diesel’s reign as the fuel of choice in the industry appears to be coming to an imminent end.

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Apollo acquires Haydock Finance

Haydock Finance Limited (“Haydock”), the Blackburn-based asset finance provider, announced yesterday that certain investment funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC (“Apollo”) have signed an agreement to acquire a majority shareholding in Haydock. They are investing alongside Haydock’s founder and Executive Chairman Jon Wilkinson. The agreement is subject to customary conditions and is expected ...

 

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