An opportunity in small ticket asset finance

By Jim Findlay, director - broker and intermediary sales at Lombard

With a record £32bn in funding provided last year, there is no denying that asset finance continues to grow in popularity as a means of business funding. Figures from the Finance and Leasing Association show that in 2017 asset finance funded almost a third of UK investment in machinery, equipment and purchased software. Of that total, £18.6bn was provided to small and medium-sized businesses – 12% higher than in 2016 – demonstrating that leasing and hire purchase are vital sources of funding for SMEs.

We continue to see strong growth in the broker marketplace from introducers sourcing and arranging funding for their customers’ business assets. These customers hold the relationship with their broker in high esteem and trust their judgement, so it’s not surprising that they prefer to deal with them rather than going direct to one or more providers.

At Lombard, our strategy has been to support the larger and more complex deals, where we can complement the service offered by brokers using our competitive funding, specialist knowledge and expertise in providing bespoke and forward-thinking asset finance solutions.

As a company, we will continue to deploy our strengths in this important area of the market, however, in addition to this, we see opportunity in the small ticket sector. There is a strong requirement for speed and automation in small ticket and Lombard is well placed to support this sector with the ongoing technology developments planned for late 2018 and beyond. Recently we launched our innovative front-end digital platform with a simplified quote tool and credit application system, which has proved popular with our existing and new customers, providing real time quotes in a matter of minutes.

My role as director for intermediary and broker sales allows us to focus on expanding our broker proposition. We have invested in our dedicated team that focuses purely on the broker and introducer sector with two relationship directors, supported by our sales support manager, Rachel Joy.

Vajinder Bal is responsible for relationships in the north and Tanya Tonkin is responsible for the south. The team is highly experienced in the broker and asset finance markets and are well placed to support both broker and customer needs with our considerable expertise and using, where relevant, our specialist experience of sectors such as manufacturing, commercial transportation, agriculture, technology and green energy.

All businesses need partners to support them through the tough times and make the most of the good. At Lombard we see ourselves as trusted advisers who like to know your business inside out, and can be relied upon to come up with smart solutions in an efficient and uncomplicated way.