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New figures from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) show that new business in the asset finance (leasing and hire purchase) market was up 23% on July last year, the strongest performance so far in 2014.

Growth was robust across most asset sectors, with business new car finance and plant and machinery finance increasing by 35% and 30% respectively, compared with July 2013.

In the same period, commercial vehicle finance rose by 18%, IT equipment finance by 20% and business equipment finance by 21%.

Commenting on the figures, Geraldine Kilkelly, the FLA’s Head of Research and Chief Economist, said:

“The July figures show clearly the active role asset finance is playing in helping UK businesses invest.  All asset finance channels showed strong growth in July, including the broker finance market which reported a record level of new business.

“The industry is also optimistic about further growth in the coming months. Our latest asset finance confidence survey shows that FLA members expect growth of about 10% in new business over the next twelve months.”