FLA reports robust April lending figures

The UK's asset finance industry is decidedly upbeat after new figures released today by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) reveal the most bullish April performance in five years for the sector.

The industry secured £1.84bn of new business - up 11% compared with the same month in 2012.

Julian Rose, head of asset finance at the FLA, said: 'In the FLA's confidence survey of senior executives in May, 92% expected business investment to increase over the next 12 months, the most optimistic the industry has been since the launch of the survey in 2011.

'There is absolutely no question that this kind of funding can help support the economy. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) reported last week that growing businesses - particularly high-growth businesses - are more likely to use leasing or hire purchase than other SMEs.'

The FLA's findings show that business equipment finance accounted for the biggest rise with a 52% uplift, closely followed by aircraft, ships and rolling stock with a 51% rise while car and commercial vehicle finance together took the lion's share of funding at £1.04bn, up 16% from the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the most recent BIS Small Business Survey 2012, which looks at UK growth within the small business community, found that that the legal and accounting sector enjoyed a 15.8% growth, still some way behind the biggest winner - residential care operators, who reported a 39.9% rise in their financial health.

The survey - which was published in May - canvassed 5,723 businesses by telephone between June and September 2012.

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