Latest figures from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that asset finance new business rose by 9% during Q1 2017 compared to the same period last year.
In the first quarter, the agricultural and construction equipment finance sectors were particularly strong, with new business growth of 43% and 23% respectively, compared with Q1 2016.
During March, new business growth, primarily leasing and hire purchase, was 5% compared to the same period last year.
The plant and machinery finance and commercial vehicle finance sectors reported new business up in March by 18% and 12% respectively, compared with the same period in 2016. New finance for business equipment was up by 2% over the same period.
Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “The strong growth in asset finance new business in the first quarter of 2017 was above expectations and reflects the improved outlook for business investment reported by the Bank of England in its May 2017 Inflation Report.”
In 2016, FLA members provided £118 billion of new finance to UK businesses and households, with £30 billion of finance provided to businesses and the public sector.
FLA members financed almost a third of UK investment in machinery, equipment and purchased software in the UK last year.
UK asset finance overview
% change on
3 mths to
12 mths to
% change on
|Total FLA asset finance (£m)||3,538||+5||7,986||+9||30,836||+6|
|Total excluding high value (£m)||3,452||+14||7,641||+11||29,694||+6|
Asset finance by asset
|Plant and machinery finance (£m)||714||+18||1,703||+20||6,120||+5|
|Commercial vehicle finance (£m)||865||+12||1,888||+7||7,471||+6|
|IT equipment finance (£m)||259||-1||466||-4||2,239||-2|
|Business equipment finance (£m)||230||+2||626||+14||2,493||+19|
|Car finance (£m)||1,166||+10||2,370||+7||9,412||+3|
|Aircraft, ships and rolling stock finance (£m)||54||+148||168||+103||548||+32|
|Asset finance by channel|
|Direct finance (£m)||1,672||+15||3,819||+8||15,161||+ 6|
|Broker-introduced finance (£m)||615||+29||1,468||+25||5,438||+16|
|Sales finance (£m)||1,165||+7||2,354||+6||9,095||+2|
|Asset finance by product|
|Finance leasing (£m)||415||+5||933||+1||4,009||+1|
|Operating leasing (£m)||873||+13||1,781||+10||6,793||+6|
|Lease/Hire purchase (£m)||1,820||+15||4,148||+14||16,052||+7|
|Other finance (£m)||431||-30||1,123||-3||3,982||+6|