New figures released by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) grew in December by 7% compared with the same month in 2017, and by 5% in Q4 2018 as a whole.

The plant and machinery finance and commercial vehicle finance sectors reported new business up in December by 29% and 18% respectively, compared with 2017, while new finance for IT equipment was up by 16% over the same period.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Head of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said “The asset finance market reported strong growth across many sectors in the final quarter of 2018 which contributed to a record level of new business in 2018 as a whole of almost £33 billion.  This represented the eighth consecutive year of growth.”

“The temporary increase in the Annual Investment Allowance for plant and machinery from 1 January 2019 announced in the last Budget should support further growth in this sector over the next few months.”

Dec 2018

% change on prev. year

3 months to Dec

2018

% change on prev. year

12 months to Dec

2018

% change on prev. year

Total FLA asset finance (£m)

2,788

+7

8,236

+5

32,571

+3

Total excluding high value (£m)

2,501

+8

7,656

+4

30,472

+3

Data Extracts:

 By asset:

Plant and machinery finance (£m)

660

+29

1,786

+18

6,849

+5

Commercial vehicle finance (£m)

673

+18

2,218

+14

7,984

+7

IT equipment finance (£m)

342

+16

674

-9

2,714

+15

Business equipment finance (£m)

247

+11

735

+16

2,659

+4

Car finance (£m)

617

+3

2,040

-7

8,893

-5

Aircraft, ships and rolling stock finance (£m)

30

-17

123

+105

312

-43

 By channel:

Direct finance (£m)

1,268

+13

3,833

+5

15,259

+2

Broker-introduced finance (£m)

502

+8

1,629

+12

6,090

+12

Sales finance (£m)

731

-1

2,195

-5

9,123

-1

 By product:

Finance leasing (£m)

381

-4

1,134

+11

4,094

+8

Operating leasing (£m)

511

0

1,531

-6

5,981

-11

Lease/Hire purchase (£m)

1,532

+28

4,658

+13

18,158

+8

Other finance (£m)

249

-3

637

-5

3,052

-3