United Kingdom

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23 Mar 2016

The UK asset finance market continues to thrive − it is now firmly consolidated as the fourth largest market globally and the largest in Europe. The fact that the UK has replaced Germany as the leading European market is not in doubt, but it should be noted that relative market size can be distorted by variations in exchange rate, and over the last year the euro has been weak against sterling.

Bearing this in mind, according to the most recent figures published by Leaseurope − for the first half of 2015 − most European markets grew comfortably but the UK raced ahead, with new business volume (NBV) for equipment and consumer vehicle finance (excluding real estate) totaling the equivalent of €36.6 billion. In euro terms, this represents an exceptional increase of over 30% on the same period a year earlier, but a straight comparison hides the fact that over the same period sterling had appreciated by some 12% against the euro.

Key areas covered and principal findings of the UK Asset and Auto Finance Country Survey 2016 include:

  • The asset finance industry now funds over 30% of investment in machinery, equipment and purchased software in the UK
  • The asset sectors with the strongest performance in 2015 were IT equipment finance (up 38%) and commercial vehicle finance (up 14%)
  • New car registrations rose for the fourth consecutive year to a record 2.6 million, and registrations in the fleet sector grew by 11.8% to a record total of 1.3 million
  • Confidence amongst SMEs seems reasonably robust, although investment intentions are cooling. For SMEs, liquidity is returning and finance markets have continued to improve for them.
  • Although global headwinds are causing concern for overall economic growth, the forecasts are still for the UK to maintain stronger growth than most developed nations

The opinions and comments of a select group of asset finance industry leaders are provided throughout this survey. Topics under analysis are:

  • Market performance
  • Auto leasing developments
  • Asset finance for SMEs
  • Alternative funding sources
  • Asset finance uptake
  • Future financial shocks

There are also special articles covering:

  • The outlook for fleet leasing
  • Forthcoming developments in asset finance
  • Asset finance recruitment

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