Roger Aust, Managing Director of Close Brothers Asset Finance Print division explains the importance of being consistent
A year ago, the economy was outperforming most in the developed world, recovering well after the economic downturn; however, Brexit has caused uncertainty among the UK’s SMEs, which could well delay some capital expenditure and will certainly create an atmosphere of indecision.
The impact on business is mixed and whether it is perception or reality, owners are having to take account of the new world they find themselves in.
Then there is also the continued volatility of Sterling, having fallen to historic lows against both the dollar and euro.
Close brothers’ business barometer is telling us that SMEs expect to have their access to finance impacted by Brexit. Nationally, the figure is 30% but in the Print sector it rises to 47%, and this view business owners have is a result of past experiences. During the recent economic recession, many banks simply stopped lending, impacting countless businesses of all sizes.
Close Brothers has a well-documented history of lending through all economic cycles and it’s something we pride ourselves on. We know that profitable and effectively-run businesses don’t become bad overnight, but they are instead the victims of decisions taken without their input, which is something we would never do.
We were one of the few lenders not to exit the market, and were the only financial institution that experienced steep levels of growth. Close Brothers could only do this because of the strong relationships it has with its customers, who know they can expect consistency, at all levels.
Something else the survey has told is that more than a quarter of Print businesses still have not heard of asset finance as an alternative to traditional banking.
Our finance model values the assets of the business and therefore allows customers to tailor their repayments and their profile to the expected lifecycle of the machinery.
Our flexible approach to finance can help relieve cash flow and free up money to pay for other essential overheads.