New figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) fell by 5% in March, compared with the same month last year, and by 3% in Q1 2018 overall.

New finance for business equipment grew in March by 13% compared with the same month in 2017.  Over the same period, the plant and machinery finance and commercial vehicle finance sectors reported falls in new business of 9% and 2% respectively.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Head of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said “The asset finance market recorded its third highest monthly new business total in March at more than £3.3 billion.  However, the latest figures reflect some of the recent slowdown in the UK economy, with new finance for agricultural and construction equipment 1% and 8% lower in March than in the same month in 2017.”

Mar 2018 % change on prev. year 3 months to Mar

2018

% change on prev. year 12 months to Mar

2018

% change on prev. year
Total FLA asset finance (£m) 3,325 -5 7,668 -3 31,459 +3
Total excluding high value (£m) 3,229 -3 7,316 -1 29,782 +3
Data Extracts: By asset:
Plant and machinery finance (£m) 654 -9 1,652 -1 6,561 +7
Commercial vehicle finance (£m) 849 -2 1,813 -4 7,412 -1
IT equipment finance (£m) 196 -24 497 -3 2,318 +2
Business equipment finance (£m) 259 +13 622 +1 2,586 +5
Car finance (£m) 1,041 -7 2,200 -3 9,357 +2
Aircraft, ships and rolling stock finance (£m) 33 -39 66 -61 448 -18
 By channel:
Direct finance (£m) 1,652 +1 3,693 -1 14,940 +1
Broker-introduced finance (£m) 579 -4 1,451 +4 5,720 +8
Sales finance (£m) 998 -10 2,172 -2 9,122 +4
 By product:
Finance leasing (£m) 406 -1 914 +4 3,843 +5
Operating leasing (£m) 714 -13 1,531 -11 6,534 -3
Lease/Hire purchase (£m) 1,835 +1 4,151 0 16,865 +4
Other finance (£m) 304 -19 824 -14 3,150 -6