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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) grew in March 2023 by 14% compared with the same month in 2022. In Q1 2023, new business was also 14% higher than in Q1 2022.

The business new car and commercial vehicle finance sectors reported new business up in March by 54% and 23% respectively, compared with the same month in 2022. The plant and machinery finance sector reported new business growth of 20% over the same period.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Director of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said: “The asset finance market reported a record level of monthly new business in March of more than £4 billion. Inflationary pressures have contributed to higher average advances across asset finance sectors, but volumes have also either grown or been maintained.

“Our latest figures show the vital support the asset finance industry is providing for business investment across the UK economy. New asset finance lending to SMEs remained robust, growing by 22% compared with March 2022. New lending to all major industry sectors – manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and services – also increased in March.”

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 March 2023% change on prev yr3 mths to March 2023% change on prev yr12 mths to March 2023% change on prev yr
Total FLA asset finance (£m) 4,216 149,4581434,9798
Total excluding high value (£m) 4,018 278,9672133,37011
Data Extracts:
By asset:
Plant and machinery finance (£m) 931 202,089138,0528
Commercial vehicle finance (£m) 1,098 232,517199,2009
IT equipment finance (£m) 143 -58322-371,387-18
Business equipment finance (£m) 200 -14469-71,913-3
Car finance (£m) 1,412 463,0263910,50220
Aircraft, ships and rolling stock finance (£m) 37 4786-38306-23
By channel:
Direct finance (£m) 1,761 404,10733 14,95017 
Broker-introduced finance (£m) 912 22 2,085 19 7,825 14 
Sales finance (£m) 1,345 17 2,775 10,595 
By product:
Finance leasing (£m) 359 -8 846 3,433 
Operating leasing (£m) 952 56 2,110 517,052 15 
Lease/Hire purchase (£m) 2,38415 5,235 12 19,662 10 
Other finance (£m) 376 -19 967 -12 3,620 -3 

By Louise Clavey

Source: Asset Finance International

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