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Fleets braced for long road to recovery, says RBS chief economist

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In his keynote speech to more than 130 customers and supplier partners attending Lombard’s recent Fleet Solutions event at RBS Williams F1 conference centre, Stephen Boyle confirmed there is evidence that economic recovery is indeed underway, but emphasised that it was important to “expect the unexpected” and not give way to complacency.

Boyle shared the stage at the invitation-only Lombard thought-leadership event with other notable speakers from the fleet and finance industries, including Professor Colin Tourick; Paul Nash, head of Asset Finance and Leasing at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Sarah Dopson from The AA.  As fleet manager for The AA, Dopson’s presentation highlighted some of the key elements of Lombard’s 15 year relationship with The AA and explored the challenges of managing such a diverse and demanding fleet.

Issues discussed at the Fleet Solutions day included salary sacrifice, best practice in structuring fleet policy, and the question of whether ‘fleet excellence’ is achievable. It had a real impact on those who attended, with positive feedback from customers who gained significant insight from the speakers and seminars. Clive Bolland, head of health and safety (UK&I), Thomas Cook, comments, “I enjoyed attending a very well run event without experiencing the ‘hard sell’ agenda that these seminars usually have. The access to experts and information was there for the taking, and I did indeed consult with some of them. Lombard got the balance right in respect of providing information to delegates and ensuring sales colleagues were on hand to discuss areas of interest.”

Peter Crabtree, head of strategic accounts, Lombard, says, “Networking at industry events is a vital way for those in the fleet industry to share expertise and knowledge of what is a complex and ever-changing sector. It was a great privilege for us to have the opportunity to present such a prestigious line-up of speakers and feedback from our customers indicates how much they appreciated the valuable insight from key professionals. The kind of event reinforces our strength as a consultative provider in the market and we are planning to hold similar customer-focused events in the future.” 

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