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Lease Team

No Brexit Blues here



Twice a year, at midsummer and Christmas, the Asset Finance - Professionals Association (“AF-PA”) put on a great networking do in a relaxed venue somewhere in Central London. This summer saw it at the Sports Bar and Grill, in fashionable Clerkenwell, and the supported charity was the Air Ambulance Service.
As AF-PA’s flyer stated, “Has there ever been a time when there has been more of a need for the industry to be meeting? With the results of the recent election, there are likely to be significant changes to all of us, how will funders be impacted, how will the outcome affect you?”
Good question, so we went round with our memo recorder to hear some of the range of unattributed opinions from funders and brokers, and here are a few:

 “One of the problems we have as an industry is that we don’t like uncertainty, we’re going to have several years of uncertainty now, undoubtedly some businesses will defer investment, there will be less opportunities to fund at a time that funders are looking for more . .”

“The opinion of myself and my company regarding asset finance is that Brexit will have very little effect, apart from some complications to VAT and cross-border, greater than we might have thought, but I think there will still be similar demand for local companies to do business with the UK and across Europe, as before.”

“Now we’ve got Number 10 sorted, stability in the market is a bit better than it was a few weeks ago, and I feel confidence is building, or rebuilding. An alarming side of it is that earlier valuations are being revalued downwards, maybe assessors are covering their backs on PI cover. I had a very big valuation done on plant and equipment pre-Brexit, and there’s been a hint that maybe the valuation had been done with a view to the European market, valued in Euros converted to pounds, and that might now have to be revalued.”

“Let’s be realistic, any actual Brexit is at least two years off, if not years and years off.”

“We were very interested to see what the effect of Brexit would be, surprisingly it doesn’t seem to have made any difference at all, the European companies we deal with are pressing on, they’re telling us the message from head office is Business as Usual.”

One person who did not want to remain anonymous was Shaun Carroll, head of block discounting at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, who reported that his team has enjoyed some of their best figures to date, so as far as he was concerned, “There are no Brexit Blues in Block!”

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