Latest news on leasing volumes recorded by the Finance & Leasing Association (“FLA”) shows that asset finance new business grew by 17 percent in March compared with the same month last year and was 13 percent higher in the first quarter of 2014 than in Q1 2013.
Finance for plant and machinery and business equipment saw the strongest growth in Q1 2014, up by 11 percent and 20 percent respectively. Growth in commercial vehicle finance remained robust at 19 percent, while IT equipment finance w.as 11 percent higher than in Q1 2013.
Commenting, Geraldine Kilkelly, Head of Research and Chief Economist at the FLA, said, “In Q1 2014, the asset finance industry returned its best first quarter performance for five years, and the pattern of growth suggests a broad-based recovery in business investment.
“The industry reported higher levels of finance provided to businesses in the agricultural, construction, manufacturing, and services sectors in the first quarter.”
The FLA has appointed Simon Goldie as new Head of Asset Finance. Commenting on the appointment, Stephen Sklaroff said, “I am really pleased to welcome Simon to the FLA at such an important time for the asset finance markets. His skills and experience will help us build on recent progress in raising the industry’s profile with our stakeholders and customers, and in persuading politicians and regulators to help us support economic recovery even more effectively.”
Simon has built up significant public policy experience during his time at the Chartered Institute of Taxation as their head of external relations and at the Association of Consultancy and Engineering as their director of policy and external affairs.
While working on campaigns for tax simplification, a taxpayers’ charter and infrastructure investment, Simon was named one of the top 100 lobbyists in the country. As well as working in the public policy arena, he led a thought leadership programme for Lexis Nexis while he was their head of PR in the UK.
Simon Goldie said of his new appointment, “I’m delighted to be joining the Finance & Leasing Association at this very exciting time for the asset finance sector. The industry has made a real difference to the growth prospects of private and public businesses of all sizes and I look forward to helping it continue to do so.”
The FLA Spring Drinks, which always follow the FLA’s AGM, were held this year in the hall of the Worshipful Company of Butchers, in Bartholomew Close, EC. Director-general Stephen Sklaroff’s report contained much positive news for the guests, and it does seem that Starship Leasing is at last heading back to a normal orbit. As regards asset finance, the director-general said: