Total asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) grew by 15% in March 2021 compared with the same month in 2020, latest data from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) shows.
In Q1 2021, new business grew marginally by one percent when compared with Q1 2020.
The commercial vehicle finance sector reported new business up in March by 22% compared with the same month in 2020. The business equipment finance and plant and machinery finance sectors reported new business up by 14% and 13% respectively, over the same period.
Geraldine Kilkelly, director of research and chief economist at the FLA, said: “March saw the asset finance market report its highest monthly new business total since June 2019. A year on since the introduction of the first restrictions to deal with the pandemic, the market and wider economy continue to be impacted by ongoing restrictions. However, the latest set of figures show that the industry has adapted to meet the challenges posed by the crisis.
“FLA’s most recent research suggests that asset finance providers are increasingly optimistic about the outlook for the rest of 2021. While mindful of the possibility of higher unemployment and a dip in confidence once the government support schemes come to an end, 93% of respondents to our latest industry outlook survey expect new business growth over the next twelve months.”