During 2017, there has been a relatively buoyant market, but finance companies will face important developments in the next 12 months that could impact on the sector.

The major areas of focus cover five key themes: Legislation, Brexit, Digitalisation, Mobility and Training.

Issues identified in the report include the impact of new legislation, particularly the General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force next year, bringing enhanced consumer rights and tougher penalties when companies breach regulations.

This is just one of a range of challenges, including the expansion of open banking regulation, implementation of new tax rules, such as IFRS16, and the impact of new emissions legislation on automotive assets, particularly diesels.

Next year will also be a critical time for ongoing Brexit negotiations, amid increasing concerns that the pace of progress is too slow for a formal trade deal to be agreed in time for the UK’s departure from the EU early in 2019.

Digitalisation promises to be a key disruptor in 2018, as new services and suppliers emerge to meet customers’ needs, supported by technology innovation as well as new open banking legislation.

These disruptive influences have highlighted the importance of training to ensure the industry develops future leaders who are able to adapt to such a dynamic market.

For a full analysis of the European market, learn more by downloading your copy of the White Clarke Group Europe Auto and Equipment Finance Report 2017.