"Politics and the economy are going to continue to dominate the news, but many businesses will not be directly affected by Brexit and will continue operating much as before"
Two thirds of brokers operating in the asset finance sector believe that Brexit is causing some businesses to delay new investments in areas such as vehicles and machinery, according to a United Trust Bank poll.
The remaining 33% who expressed a view felt that Brexit was not affecting the companies they dealt with.
2017 figures from the Finance and Leasing Association show a mixed bag for different sectors with funding of plant and machinery in December 2017 just 1% higher than in December 2016, commercial vehicle finance down 14% and the big assets; ships, planes, rolling stock etc down by 41%.
However, broker introduced business increased by 14% from 2016 to 2017 with brokers accounting for around a fifth of new leasing business by FLA members, still the fastest growing channel.
UTB’s research was carried out just before the announcement that a breakthrough had apparently been made by the UK and EU Brexit negotiators in agreeing the terms of a transitional period. It remains to be seen whether this will give businesses and SMEs in particular, greater confidence.
Keith Sangwin, head of sales – asset finance at United Trust Bank, commented: “We’ve had a busy year so far at United Trust Bank and for those companies which, regardless of Brexit, are confident in their business plans the market is extremely competitive, especially for strong credits. The rates we’re now able to offer customers with solid trading accounts and consistent credit histories are the lowest they’ve ever been.
“The next twelve months are going to be very interesting. Politics and the economy are going to continue to dominate the news, but many businesses will not be directly affected by Brexit and will continue operating much as before, serving a UK or even more local customer base. United Trust Bank is one of those businesses. As a UK bank with UK customers we’re confident that we’re ready to face whatever the future may hold, and we’ll continue to support brokers and our SME customers, helping them to seize opportunities with quick and competitive funding.”