Skip to main content

Supporting the Manufacturing industry - Ian Barker, Managing Director

Close Brothers Asset Finance is one of the oldest asset finance lenders in the UK – over the past three decades we’ve continued to lend through every economic cycle there is and thought we’d seen and experienced it all – until Brexit…but more on that further down.

The manufacturing industry is – and will continue to be - a key sector for us and makes up a significant portion of our loan book. Our commitment is demonstrated in several ways, including through our continued support of the Close Brothers SME apprenticeship programme, which is now in its fourth year.

Under this innovative scheme, we contribute 50% of the wages of the apprentices in the first year and 25% in the second year, and cover all training costs.

Sector specialists

We have become sector specialists because we recruit from within the industries we serve. The people our customers deal with know first-hand the challenges and opportunities the machine tool industry faces, which allows us to offer flexible and targeted finance options suitable for each situation.

We don’t cut lines of credit when the economy stumbles because our experience has given us the understanding that if we are there for businesses during the difficult times, they will recover and flourish when the outlook improves.

Brexit research…

Every quarter we survey around 1,000 businesses on topical issues, including Brexit. So, what does the manufacturing sector think the implications of a no-deal Brexit will be? Here are our key findings:

•    33% think it will have no effect
•    19% predict a staff shortage because of a reliance on EU workers
•    32% expect costs to increase and foresee a loss of business because they export to the EU

To find out more about finance for manufacturing equipment and machinery, please visit