Industry news

CEO of Close Brothers Retail takes the helm at FLA

4 May

Insurer launches UK asset finance register

Acquis Data Services, a newly incorporated entity, has launched Acquis Lumia, a register of asset finance borrowing that will provide a snapshot of a company’s current asset finance arrangements in a bid to support lending decisions, Acquis Insurance said in a press release.

The data hosting and processing company, which has four Acquis Insurance executives as its directors, has been developed with the cooperation of lessors from across the industry but will require sector-wide adoption if its benefits for lenders are to be realised.

“Acquis Lumia will assist asset finance providers to identify suspicious or irregular balance-sheet borrowing on a large scale. This provides a clear insight into a customer’s lending exposure, alerting the lender to possible fraudulent activity,” the press release said.

Acquis said the platform will be available to lenders in the leasing industry “for a modest subscription fee, with no charge during 2022 and until Acquis Lumia has sufficient reach to deliver real value,” the company said.

Acquis Data Services has four directors: Acquis Insurance’s Sam Farrar, EU finance director, Jeremy Miles, chief technology officer, James Rudolf, chief commercial officer, and Nick Leader, CEO.

20 April

Metro Bank launches new Asset Based Lending product

UK-based mid-sized lender Metro Bank has launched a new Asset Based Lending (ABL) product.

The bank will offer credit of £2m or more against a wide range of assets such as stock, plants, debtors, machinery, and commercial property.

Metro Bank’s both existing and new customers can avail the offering, which can be used for several business needs including refinancing of existing loans, acquisition and organic growth.

Other than ABL, Metro Bank offers cashflow loans, revolving credit facility and overdrafts along with current and savings account services.

Metro Bank head of asset based lending Alan Austin said: “As a specialist lender, we are thrilled to launch into Asset Based Lending. Metro Bank’s focus will be on providing truly bespoke lending solutions that are tailored to each and every customer.

“When combined with our award-winning level of service – alongside the Bank’s comprehensive banking and lending offering – we are looking forward to supporting many more businesses in the years ahead.”

Metro Bank director of invoice finance Kevin Craven said: “I am delighted that we are able to provide an increased range of options to our customers through our new ABL offering."

13 April

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions partners with Ritchie Bros.

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions has chosen Ritchie Bros Asset Solutions to help manage its international asset valuation and management workflows, the two said in a statement.

“It is key for us to be able to estimate the value of the equipment we finance so we can include accurate residual values in our contracts and offer more attractive solutions to our customers,” said Pierre Pavec, asset management and circular economy manager at BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions.

“With Ritchie Bros Asset Solutions’ asset valuation curves, finance calculator, and Mascus’ row listings data, we’re able to refine our estimation models on all the equipment we finance and set up financing programs that meet the needs of our clients and partners” [Mascus is Ritchie Bros’s European online equipment listing service].

Ritchie Bros. asset solutions technology enables banks, leasing companies and other industrial equipment owners to streamline their asset tracking, valuation, and disposition workflows.

Users get access to a comprehensive database with millions of commercial asset transactions, allowing them to make data-driven decisions on instalment rates, risk exposure, and more.

Ritchie Bros asset solutions’ valuation services help finance companies monitor and meet the Basel risk and regulatory requirements.

13 April

Canada’s Leasepath in tie-up with UK’s ConnectedFi

Leasepath, a Canada-based host of cloud-enabled software for providers of equipment and asset finance has unveiled a partnership with ConnectedFi in the UK, a supplier of deal flow software for equipment finance brokers.

ConnectedFi, based in the UK, describes its proposition as providing a platform for brokers to distribute business, along with documentation and underwriting data, to UK funding sources for immediate processing, giving funders more information with less time and effort.

Meanwhile, Leasepath says brokers on its system can use the origination platform’s tools to automatically identify the best funding fit for a deal and digitally capture all necessary paperwork. Through the new partnership, Leasepath said, brokers can disseminate everything digitally to any funding source partnered with ConnectedFi.

Combined with Leasepath’s origination and customer engagement platform for asset finance, “deals can be exchanged in their entireties between parties seamlessly and with no wasted efforts,” Leaseplan said.

A key part of the union between the two tech companies is Microsoft’s Power Platform. With its highly configurable architecture, integrations that once took years can be added in much shorter time frames and with less effort and cost.

4 May

Investment essential for UK manufacturers’ energy resilience

Capitas Finance has welcomed the UK Government’s announcement of support via the Energy Intensive Industries Compensation Scheme but has urged businesses to look at energy-efficient investments. Capitas said that organisations need to look beyond the next three years and investigate all the ways they can protect themselves from rising costs, including investment in low carbon technology.

21 April

Major eurozone banks can endure write off of Russian exposure

Large banks in the eurozone, including major providers of asset finance, can meet their requirements of capital even if they have to completely write off their exposure to Russia, stated European Central Bank (ECB) supervisory board chairman Andrea Enria said in a letter. ECB monitors 115 largest banks in the euro zone, reported Reuters.

25 October

UK's Haydock Finance targets dairy sector

The agricultural division of Haydock Finance has launched a product for the UK dairy sector. Dairy Cattle Finance “includes refinancing and has been designed to support British farmers with their cattle purchasing and cash flow requirements,” the provider said during an Agri Finance webinar unveiling to its broker partners.

25 October

UK's Haydock Finance targets dairy sector

The agricultural division of Haydock Finance has launched a product for the UK dairy sector. Dairy Cattle Finance “includes refinancing and has been designed to support British farmers with their cattle purchasing and cash flow requirements,” the provider said during an Agri Finance webinar unveiling to its broker partners.

25 October

Catfoss Finance in undisclosed block discounting deal

UK-based asset finance provider Catfoss Finance has announced a block discounting partnership with investment manager Downing LLP for an undisclosed amount. In a statement, Catfoss said the facility would enable Catfoss to extend its reach to more UK SMEs, providing hire-purchase, leasing and refinance for business assets, the business.

18 April

EU preparing new sanctions to target Sberbank

The EU is working on a new package of sanctions against Russia that will target Sberbank, a major leasing entity, Reuters reported. The EC head Ursula von der Leyen revealed the EU’s plans in an interview with Bild am Sonntag, a German newspaper. “We are looking further at the banking sector, especially Sberbank, which accounts for 37% of the Russian banking sector,” she said.

14 April

Europe’s top banks face weaker profits after strong 2021

Europe’s major banks – including its top leasing banks – are facing weaker profitability in 2022 as the war in Ukraine weighs on economic prospects in the region. “We expect loan impairment charges to increase from low levels as asset quality deteriorates, but most of the 20 large banks ... are well-placed to absorb the impact,” Fitch said

13 April

European tractor registrations defy global supply issues

Registrations of agricultural tractors in Europe in 2021 were up 17% year-on-year, despite widespread supply chain disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, new figures by the European Agricultural Machinery Association (CEMA) have shown. Nearly 230,000 tractors were registered across Europe in 2021, the highest level for nearly a decade, according to a report.

13 April

FIS launches BaaS hub for financial institutions

FIS, a US-based financial technology provider, including asset finance software, has announced the launch of its Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) hub for financial companies. The offering is aimed at enabling banks, fintechs and credit unions to build digital banking and payment ecosystems to offer services to merchants and customers.

13 April

$259bn in global non-financial intangible leased asset sales by 2025

New trends in the global leasing market will see non-financial intangible assets earn $259.4bn (£199bn) in annual sales by 2025. In 2020, the leasing market reached nearly $1.18 trillion (£911bn) in value and is expected to grow to $1.84 trillion (£1.41 trillion) in 2025 at a rate of 9.2%, according to Dublin-based Research and Markets.

8 April

Asset finance new business fell by 2% in February 2022

Total asset finance new business fell in February 2022 by 2% compared with the same month in 2021, according to new figures released by the UK's Finance & Leasing Association. In the first two months of 2022, new business was 5% higher than in the same period in 2021, with business equipment finance up by 17% YoY in February.

4 April

Unlocked office of Arena TV ex-boss yields £1m in equipment

Court filings in a civil claim against Richard Yeowart, the former director of UK outside broadcasting company Arena Television, and his fellow director Robert Hopkinson, suggest a locked office at Arena TV HQ in Redhill, Surrey, was the nerve centre of an operation to defraud lenders of c.£280m, the Sunday Times reported.

4 April

Spain’s Caixabank in tie-up with BNP Paribas 3 Step IT

CaixaBank, Spain’s biggest retail bank, and BNP Paribas 3 Step IT have unveiled a partnership that promises to give CaixaBank’s professional clients access to IT lifecycle management services for the first time. CaixaBank said the partnership will provide its clients with BNP Paribas 3 Step IT’s acquisition, management and refresh of business technology offerings.