As the dedicated asset finance subsidiary of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Lombard is reinforcing its commitment to supporting the growth of UK businesses by helping them access the £20bn of additional available funding recently announced by RBS.
Richard Hemsley, Lombard’s newly appointed managing director, explains, “Lombard is 100% focused on providing the funding that businesses need to get back on their feet. The funding of capital investment is of fundamental importance at a time when we are seeing signs of improvements in the economy.”
In the first half of 2013 Lombard has seen increased funding levels from specific sectors notably production assets (up 17%), light commercial vehicles (up 8%) and cars (up 6%).
Hemsley continues, “In March this year, Lombard conducted research that showed that businesses were putting off investment in their capital assets which was resulting in lost orders to the tune of £5.4bn. It is vital that businesses look at the long term picture and invest for their future growth and do not find themselves in positions of having to turn away business. The UK cannot afford to sit back at this point in the recovery – there are many opportunities for businesses to capitalise and we believe that in order to do this, they should be operating with the most up to date kit. If the UK is to build a sustainable and secure economy, and to establish a competitive position in the global marketplace, it is essential that businesses recognise the important role that investment will play in delivering these objectives.”
Asset finance offers a very accessible form of financing capital expenditure. According to Hemsley, businesses should be looking at all types of finance to understand what is available to them in order to create a portfolio of finance solutions that is best suited to their requirements. “We would encourage businesses to consider asset finance as part of this portfolio,” he says. “It is a form of funding that is highly suited to capital intensive businesses and offers benefits not necessarily provided throughother forms of lending. These benefits include greater flexibility, it helps to minimise risk, and can help release capital for investment in areas such as training or research and development. At Lombard we have remained committed to UK businesses throughout the economic downturn, and now that we see the green shoots of the economic recovery, we are even more determined to encourage businesses not to put off any investment they require. Lombard currently approves nine out of every 10 applications so we would encourage businesses to get in contact with us to see how we can help them meet their business goals.”
Hemsley concludes, “Despite the recent economic downturn, Lombard has continued to back business lending where other asset finance providers have moved out of the market. We have remained constant in providing support for SMEs in particular, lending £1.5bn to this sector in 2012. As I take up my new position, I shall be considering ways in which we can further enhance the service that we provide to our customers. The access we have to the additional £20bn of funding capacity in our parent bank, RBS, lays down a marker for Lombard’s ongoing commitment to these customers, and to UK businesses as a whole.”
As the largest asset financer provider in the UK and voted Best Leasing & Asset Finance Provider by Business Moneyfacts for five consecutive years from 2009 to 2013, Lombard provides various forms of asset finance to businesses of varying sizes – from SMEs to large multi-national corporates. Products range from Hire Purchase, Finance Lease, Operating Lease, to Sale and Leaseback, as well as multi-specialist divisions that providing funding for sustainable energy, marine, aviation and technology products.
Having celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2011, Lombard has an extensive network of business centres situated throughout the UK, and is an appointed representative of The Royal Bank of Scotland plc, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).