Succeeding in uncertainty

By Ric Simmons, regional sales director

2017 so far has been a year more synonymous with uncertainty than anything else, largely thanks to the recent snap general election and the ever-present shadow of Brexit looming large.

But there have been positives too. The latest stats from the Finance & Leasing Association show continued growth for the asset finance industry, with new business growing by 9% in the first five months of the year. At Praetura Asset Finance, 2017 is shaping up to be another record year for us, both in terms of the amount that we’re lending, which we’ve seen increase by 28% (compared with the same period in 2016) and the number of businesses we’re providing finance for throughout the UK.

A notable statistic is the increasing popularity of refinance: the number of SMEs we’ve assisted has risen by more than a third, with a 40% increase in the total amount lent.

And why? We’re sure this is down, in no small part, to the flexibility that refinance offers a business and the plethora of options it can make possible. Whether a cash injection is needed for expansion or restructure, to be able to take on new projects, consolidate debts, pay off an overdraft, settle HMRC arrears or something else, refinance is a straightforward, affordable and risk-averse solution.

It’s also an area of our industry where it comes in handy to have a funder who specialises in this field in your corner. Some refinance deals can be simple, but often, dependent on the number of assets involved, whether they are encumbered or unencumbered and the specific circumstances for which the finance is needed, they can be more complex than your average hire purchase or lease deal.

But if you’re working in partnership with a consultant lender such as Praetura, that’s not something you or your clients need to worry about. Your clients get the benefit of our time, knowledge and expertise. You get the benefit of all the arrangements (be they complicated or otherwise) being taken care of by us, leaving you free to concentrate on generating new business (for us to fund).

We were proud to support the British Business Bank’s #RejectRejection social media campaign in August and while we’re delighted with the success of what’s turning into a golden year for us at Praetura, there are many more businesses that could benefit from the advice, support and assistance that our sector offers.

We can’t be certain about what’s going to happen next, or what the implications of a minority government or Brexit will be. But we can be certain that there are SMEs all over the country that need our support and it’s up to us to get the message to them that the funds are available and we’re ready, willing and able to help support the future success of their business.