The way businesses finance growth is changing all the time, meaning more choice for owners and executives than ever before. In this environment, lenders are competing to differentiate themselves from the pack and provide tailored services that overcome client challenges.
Lombard, an award-winning provider of asset finance, takes an entrepreneurial approach to these challenges. We take time to identify the right funding solution that will help our customers obtain the tools necessary to get the job done.
These solutions help customers to acquire the vehicles, machinery, office IT equipment, technology and green energy they need to operate effectively – and to grow their businesses. We are proud of our track record and long list of satisfied customers.
Our flexibility and depth of industry-sector knowledge means we can provide relevant finance to businesses in most sectors, but we focus on manufacturing, commercial transportation, agriculture and technology, and have specialist teams that operate within green energy, marine and aviation. As a result we can assess client needs and deliver the finance that fits.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES DRIVE BUSINESSES FORWARD
As the UK’s largest asset finance provider with the longest history (our origins date back to 1861), Lombard is steeped in experience and has the breadth of facilities to cater to a broad range of business customers from small and medium-sized enterprises to FTSE 100 companies.
Asset finance is a flexible form of funding where the asset is used as security, helping businesses to release working capital that can be invested in growth or other business requirements.
At Lombard, we believe that it is important to truly understand what are our customers’ business requirements and long-term goals. To do this, we have invested in our teams and established dedicated sector specialists in key areas such as manufacturing, agriculture, commercial transportation, technology and green energy or renewables.
Asset finance is a flexible form of funding where the asset is used as security, helping businesses to release working capital that can be invested in growth or other business requirements. It lets businesses invest without taking money out of the cash-flow cycle.
It’s an increasingly popular form of funding in an economy where the latest equipment, vehicles and technology can be the difference between competing businesses.
Asset finance is an umbrella term for a range of specific facilities catering for the financial needs of businesses in different industries, regardless of size or stage of growth.
We offer, for example, hire purchase agreements allowing customers to rent an asset with the option to buy it at the end of an agreed term; operating leases for high-value or specialist equipment; and contract hire for vehicles which can include a service and maintenance element.
There are a number of solutions offered by asset finance which are designed to meet specific needs. For example, using hire purchase enables a business to spread the cost of a purchase over an agreed period, at the end of which the business takes ownership. In a similar way, an operating lease provides the benefit of funding an asset for a fixed period, perhaps for a specific contract, without the risk of being left with an asset that is not needed once the contract ends.
So whether working on as a single product or in conjunction with other funding options, asset finance can be used by small, medium and large enterprises within their portfolio of funding solutions.
Whatever the customer needs, Lombard has the expertise to tailor our comprehensive range of asset finance solutions to match client companies’ aspirations providing the funding for businesses to acquire the assets needed for growth without placing undue strain on your bank balance.
RELATIONSHIP APPROACH TO CUSTOMER NEEDS
Lombard can offer tailored services and competitive rates, but unlike some other finance providers, we can also offer a strong working relationship with our customers. Our support won’t end when you sign on the dotted line.
As part of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, we can connect customers with a range of quality banking services that will aim to help your business grow while aiming to protect it from unexpected surprises, as well as invoice finance to help to improve cash flow by advancing payments on invoices.
In addition, consultancy services are offered by the bank’s Mentor division to ensure that businesses comply with regulatory and compliance obligations such as employment law, health and safety, and environmental management (fees apply).
We take a relationship approach to our business and work with customers as they grow to keep the products and services they rely on relevant, beneficial and optimised for the next level of growth. Customers with questions or who just want to chat can contact us by phone, e-mail and even through social media.
At Lombard we have been working actively to raise awareness of asset finance and to highlight that it provides a form of funding which is readily available. Between October 2012 and December 2013, we approved nine out of every ten applications for lending with figures based on finance applications approved by our credit team
It’s no wonder Lombard enjoys a great relationship with its customers and has a long list of success stories in which it has made a major impact on the continued growth and successes achieved.
Consider the example of Irwin Mitchell, one of the largest and most respected law firms in the UK, with expertise in everything from family law to corporate cases. When the firm needed to upgrade its technology, it turned to Lombard Technology Services for an innovative cash-generating solution.
Lombard provided a £280,000 facility to support the acquisition of new laptops on three-year residual leases. It paid Irwin Mitchell for a stake in the value of the equipment at the end of the period, meaning the customer’s total rental costs were less than they would have been paying for the computers upfront.
Andrew Merrick, chief financial officer of Irwin Mitchell, says: “Working with Lombard Technology Services has been a seamless process. They have delivered an innovative solution with this financing package which reduces our expenditure on assets that are essential to the day-to-day service we deliver to our clients.”
Another happy customer is Tony Lee of A L Lee & Sons, who agreed a deal to purchase machinery using an asset finance facility from Lombard. The Cambridgeshire-based farming business farms around 10,000 acres of land, of which 2,000 acres are devoted to potatoes.
The business wanted to meet growing demand from customers and had to invest in new equipment to help it achieve its goal. After taking time to get to know the business and understand its needs, Lombard initially funded three new potato grading systems in a £3.6-million facility.
Owner Tony Lee says: “We’ve worked with Lombard for a number of years and financed a range of machinery with them. It’s an affordable way to invest in equipment which helps us grow and develop. Thanks to Lombard, we have been able to fulfil our orders and service our customers more efficiently.”
Highland Experience Tours provides tours between Edinburgh and Loch Ness. Incorporated in 2005 with a single vehicle, it now offers a variety of mini-bus and mini-coach tours, with trips ranging from one day to more than a week.
To cater for growing demand, the company wanted to expand its fleet. Short-term hire agreements were eating into profits, so the business agreed a £373,000-hire-purchase agreement and funding with Lombard, enabling it to acquire three Plaxton Cheetah buses.
“We were looking to grow the company and needed support to get the high-quality product we wanted. The agreement with Lombard has meant we have been able to add significant carrying capacity to our fleet,” says Michael Bremner, Highland Experience Tours’ managing director.
These are just a handful of Lombard’s many happy customers. We are spreading the message that we want to lend money – indeed we want to lend more – so get in touch to start discussing your financial goals.
To find out more about how Lombard can help you finance eligible assets, call 0800 502402
Text Relay 18001 0800 502 402
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CASE STUDY: REDFORD FLOWERS
Anatomy of the deal
- Customer industry: horticulture.
- Finance agreed: asset finance; hire purchase.
- Purpose of the deal: to purchase machinery.
- Some £400,000 of funding enabled Redford Flowers to make significant energy and efficiency savings.
- The business will benefit from improved budgeting due to the cost efficiency of using wood pellets rather than fossil fuels, and also from money generated by renewable heat income.
- Cash-flow benefits provided by hire purchase funding.
Redford Flowers was founded in 1970 by husband and wife team Peter and Angela Redden. Today the business is run from ten-acre Sycamore Farm in Lincolnshire and the couple’s son Simon is in charge.
It grows between eight and ten million flower stems each year, including lilies, irises and tulips, and supplies wholesalers who in turn sell to supermarkets and florists across the UK.
Having spent time in Holland studying the practices of other growers, Simon decided to invest in new production processes that would increase efficiency and reduce costs.
One of Redford’s biggest costs was the oil in the heating system that keeps bulbs at a constant temperature. After conducting research Simon concluded that a biomass boiler would provide significant savings over fossil fuel burners.
He also identified areas of the business ripe for automation, so he took steps to acquire an automated bunching machine at a cost of £50,000 and a £350,000 biomass boiler.
“I recognised that introducing green energy and automation into the business would have a positive impact on our bottom line. Using asset finance meant this investment could be managed efficiently,” he says.
Having been introduced to Lombard through Redford’s bank NatWest, Simon agreed a hire purchase arrangement on a five-year term. Security for the deal came from the boiler itself, meaning no other collateral was required.
“As the security is actually in the boiler, using asset finance has meant there was no requirement to offer land and buildings as additional security, and there are also cash-flow benefits to us as a business,” he adds.
Acquiring the assets through hire purchase alleviated pressure on cash flow, while the lack of a requirement for additional security helped to give Simon pace of mind. In another benefit, repayments are being offset against regular renewable heat income (RHI) payments.
RHI is payable for 20 years, meaning that at the end of the hire purchase term the payments become an additional income stream for the business. As a result of the investment, Redford expects to reduce its energy bill by more than a third.
Redford’s example demonstrates how businesses can use asset finance to invest in growth while reducing costs in the long term. It’s a win-win that other businesses have the opportunity to replicate, making them more efficient while shrinking their environmental footprint for generations to come.