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New figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that total asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) fell in March 2024 by 10% compared with the same month in 2023. In Q1 2024 as a whole, new business was at a similar level to Q1 2023.

The business new car finance sector reported new business in March 6% lower than in the same month of 2023, while commercial vehicle finance new business held steady. New business in the plant and machinery finance and business equipment finance sectors each fell by 24% compared with March 2023.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said: “Asset finance new business in March 2024 reached £3.8 billion, the third highest monthly total on record, with only March 2019 and March 2023 seeing higher levels. The weakness in the plant and machinery finance sector can be in part attributed to the record level of new business reported by that sector in March 2023 ahead of the end of the super-deduction allowance.

“The rebound in the economy demonstrated by the latest official data was reflected in the FLA’s Q2 2024 Industry Outlook Survey which showed almost two-thirds of asset finance respondents expected some increase in business investment over the next 12 months. Over the same period, almost three-quarters of respondents anticipated some increase in the value of new business.”

 

 March 2024

% change on

prev. year

3 mths to

March 2024

% change on

prev. year

12 mths to

March 2024

% change on

prev. year

Total FLA asset finance (£m) 3,844 -10 9,647 0 38,541 9
Total excluding high value (£m)  3,717 -9 9,307 2 36,855 9
Data Extracts:      
By asset:
Plant and machinery finance (£m)  740  -24 1,853 -15 7,359 -12
Commercial vehicle finance (£m) 1,116  0 2,661 4 10,026 7
IT equipment finance (£m)  110  -23 279 -13 1,152 -17
Business equipment finance (£m)  154  -24 414 -13 1,823 -6
Car finance (£m)  1,328  -6 3,330 9 13,508 29
Aircraft, ships and rolling stock finance (£m)  37  0 90 4 327 7
By channel:
Direct finance (£m)  1,636  -8 4,228 2 16,937 12
Broker-introduced finance (£m)  777  -17 2,118 -1 8,240 2
Sales finance (£m) 1,304  -5 2,961 4 11,679 8
By product:
Finance leasing (£m)  304  -16 779 -8 3,402 -1
Operating leasing (£m)  926  -5 2,419 12 9,529 32
Lease/Hire purchase (£m)  2,155  -11 5,152 -3 30,207 1
Other finance (£m)  334  -12 962 -1 4,054 11

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