78% of asset finance brokers surveyed think that having a conservative government has given SMEs the confidence to invest in their businesses.
However, nearly a quarter of brokers also believe that uncertainty over the UK’s future relationship with the EU is causing businesses to be more cautious until they know the outcome of the EU referendum.
The findings of United Trust Bank’s most recent broker survey also reveal that more than half of brokers expect to complete more business in 2015 than they did in 2014 and another 28% expect their 2015 performance to be about the same as last year.
Martin Nixon, head of asset finance at United Trust Bank, said: “There appears to be an overwhelming consensus amongst brokers in the asset finance sector that having a majority Conservative government has been good for business. However, a number of brokers feel that the question mark hanging over the UK’s future relationship with EU is causing some of their SME clients to show some caution when considering further investment in their businesses.
“However, what may have brought a short term boost to the marketplace, especially for larger transactions, is the clock ticking down to the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) limit dropping from its temporary £500,000 limit to a permanent £200,000 limit in January 2016. It was excellent news for businesses that the government decided not to take the AIA all the way back down to £25,000, but for those companies looking to make significant purchases of over £200,000, doing so before the end of the year makes for good tax planning. The tax saving could well offset the cost of purchasing the vehicle, plant or machinery sooner than planned using finance rather than leaving it until later and incurring a higher tax bill in 2016.
“Recent figures from the FLA show a 14% increase in new asset finance business written in the 12 months to August 2015. And like many of the brokers who took part in our survey, we also expect to exceed our 2014 business levels. I’m confident that by the end of the year United Trust Bank will have increased its asset finance lending by around 25%, year on year, and that’s thanks to the hard work of the team and the continued support of our valued broker partners.”