Lombard is delighted to support Manufacturing & Engineering North East (MENE) and to work with manufacturers across a region that is becoming renowned for its innovation and flexibility.
As the North East's historic connections with shipbuilding and coal-mining make way for a new age of biotechnology and precision engineering, and the automotive sector is reinvigorated by production of the electric car and low carbon vehicles, manufacturers in the region can be justifiably proud of their achievements.
With this sense of optimism growing across the region, investment has become more important than ever to ensure that manufacturers in the North East keep up with evolving technology and innovation, and the challenges of competing in the digital age.
In order to maintain this momentum, it is important not to think purely in the present but to have a vision of the future and all that this will entail. We know that advances in technology are speeding up and that this creates its own challenges but we are keen to work with manufacturers in order to find the funding solutions to ensure that their businesses are at the forefront of inevitable changes to the manufacturing process.
Strongest growth rate for seven years
Figures from the Finance and Leasing Association for 2014 indicate the growing popularity of asset finance, with new business figures showing a 13% increase last year to £25.4bn, the strongest rate of growth for seven years. In terms of manufacturers, the figures indicate that use of asset finance to fund plant and machinery alone grew by 21% in 2014.
Lombard believes that this growth demonstrates that more manufacturers are recognising the benefits offered by asset finance, in particular with regard to cash flow.
Asset finance differs from more traditional forms of finance for manufacturers in that our security is in the asset, often negating the need to take charges of property or additional guarantees.
This form of funding also has the benefit that the term of the funding can be matched to the useful life of the machine, which makes those larger investments more affordable.
Thus, asset finance can help to support investment plans and make it easier to keep up with the pace of innovation in the marketplace.
At Lombard, we have been funding manufacturers for over 150 years. However we constantly listen to our customers' needs and regularly consider how we can enhance our service further. This could involve adding new products such as capital import finance - which reduces the risks of importing machinery from abroad – or tooling finance for automotive manufacturers, or communicating the availability of initiatives such as the time-limited annual investment allowance to support investment planning. We work closely with our customers to ensure that we create strong partnerships that deliver growth aspirations.
This partnership extends to offering access to other solutions offered by our parent company such as invoice finance, another alternative financing solution, and RBS Transaction Services that provides domestic and international banking services, helping customers to transact with their own customers and suppliers. In addition we can introduce you to Mentor, an advisory and consultancy service that provides guidelines to help manufacturers and other sectors manage their regulatory and compliance obligations.
Lombard continues to be committed to manufacturing in the North East and is keen to play an ongoing part in supporting investment in the new age of technology in order to ensure that the strength of manufacturing across the region continues to go from strength to strength. ¦