New figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that total asset finance new business (primarily leasing and hire purchase) fell by 6% in December 2020 compared with the same month in 2019. In 2020 as a whole, new business was 23% lower than in 2019.
The commercial vehicle finance sector reported new business up by 2% in December compared with the same month in 2019. The plant and machinery finance and IT equipment finance sectors reported falls in new business of 4% and 21% respectively, over the same period.
Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, Head of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said: “The asset finance market continued to show improvement in December, despite ongoing restrictions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The market reported its highest monthly level of new business since March 2020 and the smallest rate of new business contraction since January 2020.
“The vaccine rollout in the UK has improved the outlook for the UK economy in the second half of 2021. Almost three-quarters of asset finance respondents to the FLA’s Q1 2021 Industry Outlook Survey expected some growth in new business over the next year if uncertainty reduces.”