Keith Sangwin

67% of brokers feel Brexit uncertainty is delaying business investment



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More than two-thirds of asset finance brokers (67%) believe that Brexit uncertainty is causing some businesses to delay investing in vehicles, plant and machinery, according to new research.

The latest broker sentiment poll carried out by United Trust Bank revealed that the remaining 33% of those who expressed a view felt that Brexit was not affecting the companies they dealt with.

Figures from the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) revealed that plant and machinery finance in December 2017 was just 1% higher than in December 2016, with commercial vehicle finance down 14% and big assets (ships, planes and rolling stock etc) down by 41%.

However, broker-introduced business was up 14% on 2016, with brokers accounting for around a fifth of new leasing business by FLA members – the fastest-growing channel.

“We’ve had a busy year so far at United Trust Bank and for those companies which, regardless of Brexit, are confident in their business plans the market is extremely competitive, especially for strong credits,” said Keith Sangwin, head of sales – asset finance at United Trust Bank (pictured above).

“The rates we’re now able to offer customers with solid trading accounts and consistent credit histories are the lowest they’ve ever been.

“As a responsible lender, we’re keeping a very close eye on the economy and taking account of all contributing factors, not just Brexit.

“However, UTB’s reputation for being a robust and dependable funder through all market conditions is as valid now as it ever was.

“The bank continued to lend throughout the financial crisis and our book is very much open now.”

Keith added that the next 12 months were going to be very interesting.

“Politics and the economy are going to continue to dominate the news, but many businesses will not be directly affected by Brexit and will continue operating much as before, serving a UK or even more local customer base,” he said.

“United Trust Bank is one of those businesses.

“As a UK bank with UK customers, we’re confident that we’re ready to face whatever the future may hold, and we’ll continue to support brokers and our SME customers, helping them to seize opportunities with quick and competitive funding.”

The research was carried out by United Trust Bank just before the announcement that a breakthrough had apparently been made by the UK and EU Brexit negotiators in agreeing the terms of a transitional period.

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