Fleet News

BVRLA takes fresh approach to funding

The BVRLA has set up a new steering group to improve the availability of competitively-priced funding for the vehicle rental and leasing industry.

The Funding Steering Group will help existing and potential funders better understand the vehicle rental and leasing industry and its related risks and rewards.

It is already working with at least half-a-dozen new funders to evaluate the opportunities and product requirements of the industry and identify any barriers.

“This group has been created to help replace some of the liquidity lost since the Credit Crunch as banks have struggled to build up their balance sheets and improve their flow of lending,” said BVRLA chief executive, John Lewis.

“Our industry has coped with this squeeze and now it’s time to help lenders return to the market and explore new funding opportunities. From the conversations we have had with potential lenders already, I am confident that there is new finance available for leasing and rental companies.”

The BVRLA’s new initiative comes as the industry’s main funder, Lloyds Banking Group, continues to slowly reduce its £1bn exposure to the rental and leasing market. Although Lloyds has pledged to work with the industry to make this transition as smooth as possible, the association is keen to help Lloyds’ customers in particular to reduce their dependency on its funding.

The steering group is chaired by BVRLA honorary treasurer and board member Brian Back and includes representation from the association’s three key sectors of membership: Graham Hale of Fleet Hire, Andrew Cope of Zenith Provecta, Roger Hancock of Thrifty Car Rental and David Barlow of ProHire.

Following the group’s initial meeting in late April, the BVRLA has begun work on producing an ‘Industry Profile’ document for potential funders and aims to conduct a funding survey of members by the end of May.

“We want to get a clear understanding of which sort of finance they want to provide and what sort of companies they want to deal with. The information we get from the survey of members will help us point them in the right direction,” said Lewis.

In the longer term, the BVRLA is also working with the Finance and Leasing Association and exploring alternatives to bank funding.

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