As recruitment experts in Asset Finance, Leasing and Motor Finance, it’s important our recruitment consultants at THC Recruitment are knowledgeable and up to date with activities within these industries. This is not just for the benefit of identifying recruitment opportunities but also to ensure our candidates are up to speed with the latest movements, news and trends.
Asset Finance Market
The British Business Bank, which is owned by the government but works independently of it, has delivered an upbeat assessment of increasing lending to companies, and is hopeful that it is sustainable. Its COO, Patrick Magee said: “The bank market is beginning to recover and the credit appetite is coming back. The asset finance market has been doing really well. It was just under £13billion in 2012 and was more than £16billion in 2015.” £342.5million of financing was originated in March which represents a 12% rise on February.
Whilst the IMF is warning of a possible financial crisis, BBB is more upbeat. “We’re not back to the heights or lows of 2007-8, but we’re returning to what we hope might be a new normal. I don’t have significant concerns that this isn’t sustainable.”
In its Credit Conditions Survey for the first quarter of 2016, the Bank of England revealed the proportion of small business loan applications approved increased for the fourth consecutive quarter, and demand from SMEs is expected to rise this quarter.
Jo Harris, managing director for business banking at Lloyds Banking Group, said: ‘Default rates on lending have fallen, reflecting an improvement in credit quality, and Bank of England statistics show there was an annual net increase of 1.6 per cent in loans and overdraft balances of SMEs in the year to the end of February.
‘However, in the first quarter of 2016 there was a slight fall in demand from small firms, perhaps as a result of uncertainty in many markets.’ Lloyds increased its lending by 5 per cent in the last year.
- Celebrating new car sales
Car sales are up which has to be good news for the motor finance industry. As a whole, the UK car market had a record first quarter with more than 770,000 new cars registered. In fact, March had the best recorded figures since the switch to the twice-yearly plate change in 1999, with 518,707 new cars registered – only the third time the market has surpassed half a million vehicles in a single month.
Jaguar Land Rover had a record first quarter with a jump of 23% year on year. This month’s launch of the new F-Pace sports utility vehicle – which has earned its nickname of the ‘She-Type’ Jag thanks to the amount of attention from women customers – will push the figures even higher – with advance orders of 25,000, it’s already the fastest selling Jaguar ever.
Lookers, which has more than 150 outlets in the UK and Ireland, saw pre-tax profits rise by 6% in 2015 and are predicting new car sales will increase by 5% this year.
As David Cameron made an official visit to the Vauxhall factory at Ellesmere Port to put forward his case for staying in Europe, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders revealed that more than three in four companies in the UK motor industry thought that remaining in Europe would be best for business. Two thirds of members said they believed access to EU automotive markets has had a positive impact on their firm.
- Fears for borrowing
The Finance & Leasing Association say the number of new cars bought with financing at dealerships was above a million in the past year. In February 2016, 51,207 cars were bought in February on finance deals agreed during the sale – 22% rise year on year.
Financing agreements now account for 81.9% of the private new car market.
These figures have fuelled fears that consumers are taking on too much debt with a danger they’ll be living beyond their means. According to Bank of England figures, credit card borrowing rose 9.3% in the year to February – the highest since 2005, fuelling fears that we are heading for a dangerous credit binge.
- Vulnerable consumers
The Lending Standards Board has highlighted consumer vulnerability which should be one of the key areas of focus for providers of consumer credit. Its research found that most firms are in the early stages of dealing with vulnerability, but say it should be “at the forefront of everyone’s minds” throughout the customer journey, and not just confined to debt collection.
Says Julie, MD of THC Recruitment “The Motor Finance industry is thriving and we are delighted to work with award-winning clients such as MotoNovo Finance who were chosen as one of the top 6 Sunday Times best companies this year.”
Non-bank lending is on the rise. According to the Finance & Leasing Association, the use of leases by UK business rose 12% in 2015 – its highest level in seven years. Companies secured £29.1billion of leases for assets such as new vehicle fleets, IT systems and office equipment – up from £26billion the previous year. Despite the strong growth in non-bank lending, a recent report from Judge Business School’s Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, “Pushing Boundaries”, suggested that alternative finance is slowing. Whilst the figure grew by 161% in 2014 from 2013, growth was only 84% in 2015. Accountants PwC expects growth in the sector to continue, but predicts the number of funding platforms will fall as it sees the current number of around 100 as unsustainable.
Please contact THC Recruitment if you’re searching for an experienced candidate, or are looking for a new job in our key industries.