Your guide to the power of asset finance

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1 Your guide to the power of asset finance Unlocking the value within your business Molten Man 2.0 by Shane Butler, Winner of the EEF Photography Competition 23, sponsored by Lombard.

2 Asset finance is a type of finance used by businesses to obtain the equipment they need to grow. It usually involves paying a regular charge to use the asset over an agreed period, avoiding the full cost of buying outright. The most common types of asset finance are leasing and hire purchase. About this guide You ll find straightforward, practical information on how asset finance works. It details: Contract hire Operating leases Finance leases Hire purchase Why us? We combine financial expertise with hands-on experience We can identify the most suitable options and tailor them to you We make it as simple as possible for you to invest in your business Get in touch Call us on Text Relay Visit us at lombard.co.uk All information featured in this guide is for illustration only. All statements concerning taxation are based on our best understanding of current legislation. Levels and bases of taxation can change at any time. The contents of this guide do not constitute legal, tax, financial planning or any other advice. You should always discuss your choice of finance product with your accountant. Asset finance gives you the power and flexibility to help build a sustainable future for your business - making your money work for you Into the blue by Jean Illingworth, shortlisted for the EEF Photography Competition 23 sponsored by Lombard.

3 Your guide to the power of asset finance CONTENTS Understanding your business 02 The benefits 03 Invest in your business 04 Capitalising on capital allowances 05 Making the right choice 06 Release your capital 07 Understanding our expertise 08 Your questions answered

4 UNDERSTANDING YOUR BUSINESS

5 Understanding your business With experience in most sectors, we understand the pressures you face. We can help you: Improve cash flow efficiency Exploit growth opportunities Reduce residual risk Save your cash resources Spread costs Avoid depreciation Technology equipment, vehicles, plant and machinery all lose value over time - so why buy them outright? This is exactly the sort of question this guide sets out to answer. We understand the power of asset finance to your business Velodrome by Piotr Krzysiek, shortlisted for the EEF Photography Competition 23 sponsored by Lombard.

6 Understanding your business Lombard looked at our assets and understood their residual values. Their expertise also enables us to buy second hand equipment and to refinance equipment if we need to. Not every provider we spoke to was interested or had the necessary experience. Peter Johnson-Treherne, Finance Director, Lightwater Valley Attractions The days when your local bank manager determined your financial future are long gone. Today, there are many more financing options available. Component with cutting segments applied by Alan Burke, shortlisted for the EEF Photography Competition 23 sponsored by Lombard.

7 Understanding your business This page details finance options you might want to discuss with us (and a bit about how they work). Hire purchase (or lease purchase) With hire purchase, you take ultimate ownership of the asset after paying regular rentals. You have an option to buy your asset at the end of the agreement. Alternatively, you can return the asset to us. You can structure your payments to fit your cash flow. For example, you can reduce your regular payments by paying a final lump sum, known as a balloon payment. This reflects the assumed value of the asset at the end of the agreement. Your business can claim any available capital allowances. Finance lease Finance leasing means renting an asset, not buying one. Normally, we calculate rentals over an agreed term. At the end of it, we ll have recovered the cost of purchasing the asset on your behalf. While you never own the asset yourself, we usually allow you to benefit from most of the sale proceeds at the end of the term. Unless the lease is a long funding lease, you can choose to offset the rentals against your profits (subject to provisions of HMRC Statement of Practice 3/91), while we retain the right to any capital allowances. Operating leases These are particularly effective for high-value, specialised equipment, or assets you need to support a specific contract. We base rentals on the value of the asset over the period you require it. As a result, you can link rentals directly to the revenue your asset generates. Unlike a finance lease, rentals won t recover the full cost of the asset. But we protect you from any shortfall risk by guaranteeing a residual value at the end of the term. You can generally deduct the full cost of the lease rentals from profits and the asset won t appear on your balance sheet (under current UK accounting practice). Contract hire This is a form of operating lease. It offers a complete solution to the sourcing, finance, management and final disposal of the vehicle. You can even arrange for maintenance and other fleet management services to be included. Contract hire can save your business time - and regular payments make budgeting easy. Contract hire is available through Lombard Vehicle Solutions, provided by ALD Automotive. For general information purposes only. You are recommended to seek professional advice before taking any action. Contract hire facilities offered by Lombard Vehicle Solutions, provided by ALD Automotive Limited. Registered in England. No Registered office: Oakwood Park, Lodge Causeway, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3JA

8 02 THE BENEFITS

9 The benefits Asset finance offers a range of benefits. It s ideal for maintaining, replacing or updating depreciating assets, with an attractive level of flexibility. When you need to keep tight control over your cash flow and working capital, asset finance offers these advantages: Minimises ownership risk We can take the risk on how much value remains in the asset at the end of the contract - and take responsibility for disposal and management costs on certain products. Releases tied-up cash Sale and leaseback: sell your existing assets and lease them back, freeing up the value within your assets. You can avoid using cash reserves, which could fund growth elsewhere in the business. Opens up additional credit lines It can add to the financial value of your business assets, complementing cash resources and existing bank credit lines, such as overdrafts. Deliver funds efficiently The security within the asset can result in a quick turnaround of credit applications.

10 The benefits Eliminate uncertainty Plan for the future by fixing rentals costs and the interest you have to pay for the duration of your contract. Eliminate uncertainty and costly surprises. Cut wasted spending The rentals reflect usage of an asset for a portion of its usable life - this is an important value added benefit where you expect to use it for only part of the asset s life. Speed up credit decisions We operate a standardised credit procedure, based on the assets being funded. Our customers find the decision process efficient. How A E Oscroft & Sons Ltd benefited from our funding of a new biomass system: We chose Lombard as they showed not only specific knowledge of our company but also expertise in sustainable energy. We recognised an opportunity to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel and thereby control energy costs, which would give us a competitive edge. Chris Oscroft - Owner

11 The benefits We understand the power of asset finance. But don t just take our word for it. Here s how the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) describe capital investment and asset finance in the UK: Sustainable because businesses have the option to replace or update equipment at the end of the lease period. Secure for the user, as the finance cannot be recalled during the life of the agreement. Source: Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), the major UK industry body for the asset finance industry. In 24 FLA members funded 25.4 billion of all fixed capital investment Source: 24 Annual Review, FLA

12 03 INVEST IN YOUR BUSINESS

13 Invest in your business Your business is growing. You ve identified the next step towards realising your ambitions. It could be a complete overhaul of your technology infrastructure or new plant and machinery... Wouldn t it be good to find a trusted business partner who understands your industry, a financial expert for funding when you need it? Highly experienced, always approachable, our relationship managers can discuss your needs. 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. Michael Bremner, Managing Director, Highland Experience Tours

14 04 CAPITALISING ON CAPITAL ALLOWANCES

15 Capitalising on capital allowances As a business, you can deduct a proportion of the cost of certain asset purchases from your taxable profits by claiming capital allowances. Claim for certain expenditure on: Vehicles Plant and machinery Research and development Technology If you lease, your leasing company will claim any capital allowances, passing them on to you in the rental rate, unless the lease is a long funding lease. Subject to provisions of HMRC Statement of Practice 3/91, you can claim the rentals as a business expense. If you use an asset under a hire purchase agreement, you may be able to claim capital allowances based on the cost of the asset. The interest and other charges are usually treated as a business expense. The actual amount you can claim will depend on your individual circumstances. This information is only a general guide. You should always discuss the detail with your accountant or tax adviser. Providing support, expertise and local knowledge

16 05 MAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE

17 Making the right choice The solution you choose depends on your circumstances. Here you ll see questions that help you arrive at the best answer, along with a list of financing options. Our financing specialists are here to guide you on issues like: Tying up capital in fixed assets, versus leasing them Cash flow and working capital Tax and VAT treatment Questions Finance Lease Hire/Lease Purchase Operating Lease Will you own the asset? No Yes Planned rental product only Are rentals tax deductible? Yes Interest only Yes Can you claim Capital Allowances or Annual Investment Allowances? No Yes No Does this route preserve capital? Yes Yes Yes Is this asset off-balance sheet? (Classification as off-balance funding is subject to auditor s approval) Can VAT on payments be reclaimed? Can VAT on the cost of the asset be reclaimed? No No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No

18 06 RELEASE YOUR CAPITAL: SALE AND LEASEBACK

19 Release your capital Buying assets outright can tie up capital and raise the risk of unpredictable resale values. On the other hand, selling your asset to us and leasing it back lets you budget more effectively, with fixed monthly payments while eliminating your exposure to unpredictable residual values. Of course, paying cash is always an option. But many firms we speak to feel it makes more sense to preserve working capital - financing an asset over the course of its useful life, rather than paying upfront. Cash purchases use up valuable cash resources. You re buying an asset that is likely to depreciate over time. You ll need to maintain it - and dispose of it when the time comes to replace it. You can sometimes include the cost of maintenance in your monthly payments and let us take care of disposal. Corgi Socks by Sofia Campion, winner of the Young Photographer EEF Photography Competition 23, sponsored by Lombard. We use Lombard because they took the time to get to know our business and as a result their help is both apt and effective. Flexibility is key to our customers; using asset finance enables us to provide that flexibility, while offering significant cash flow advantages to our business. Graham Robbins, John Hudson Trailers Ltd

20 Release your capital Sale and leaseback: measurable benefits It s not easy to measure the true cost of buying, financing, maintaining and disposing of assets. But our specialists can help you to arrive at the true figures. When you choose sale and leaseback you get our support with: Relief vehicles during repairs Accident management Roadside assistance Fuel cards for fleets For your technology assets, our options cover: Supply Critical hardware Fixing, replacing, maintenance and disposal The key benefits: Re-inject vital capital into your business Strengthen your balance sheet Open up new lines of credit for business growth and expansion Additional option to cover all servicing and repairs Leasing: flexible options Leasing works if you only need an asset for part of its working life - cars and construction equipment, for example. Leasing is also ideal for things that require regular updates, like technology assets. We purchase the asset on your behalf and then rent it back to you. Under our lease, you pay rental for an agreed period. Although you never own the asset, you have full use of it. You can also reclaim VAT on lease and contract hire rentals. Special rules apply to company cars, where you can generally reclaim 50% of the VAT.

21 07 UNDERSTANDING OUR EXPERTISE

22 Understanding our expertise We re part of The Royal Bank of Scotland. As specialists in asset finance, we re committed to giving businesses the ability to source, acquire and manage assets that help them achieve their aims. Because we re business people too, we believe in going the extra mile. So, whatever asset you need, whatever sector you re in, we ll do everything we can to give your business the tools it needs to succeed. You can feel confident working with us. Alongside the Chartered Banker Institute, we launched the first industry accreditation scheme for asset finance. Its rigorous standards ensure our team have an endorsed level of professional experience. Our specialists have a clear understanding of your specific funding, equipment and cash flow requirements. And first-hand experience in most industries: Agriculture Commercial transportation Aviation Green energy Buses Marine Coaches Plant and Machinery Cars Technology Vans Manufacturing The Chartered Banker Institute is a trading name of The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland. For over 150 years, we ve helped businesses get the most from their assets. We lend millions of pounds each day to businesses like yours

23 Understanding our expertise It s our mission to keep spreading the word about the power of asset finance. As a means for a business to fund its capital needs, especially in a tough economic climate, our passion hasn t gone unnoticed. For the seventh year running, we ve won the Business Moneyfacts Best Leasing & Asset Finance Provider Award ( ) an accolade from an independent publication, judged on user feedback and external research. We re confident in our ability to continue funding the growth of businesses of all sizes across a diverse range of sectors and we aim to keep winning awards for our customers for many years to come. Discover more

24 08 YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

25 Your questions answered Q What is asset finance suitable for? A Asset finance is suitable for any business in any sector. You can use it for equipment that ranges from several thousand pounds to several million, depending on your business needs. Q Why not just use cash? A If your business has the money available, then it could be worth considering this option. Your business will own the asset outright and you will also be able to claim the capital allowances. But paying cash upfront could exhaust working capital better invested elsewhere. Q Why don t I just borrow the money from my bank? A Loans have their place when acquiring assets but you should consider your overall borrowing requirements. A bank loan is likely to make it hard to raise funds for other things while the loan is outstanding. Q Is it true that asset finance offers the protection of a fixed-term contract? A Yes. A bank can call in an overdraft at any time, but with us you re protected by the security of a fixed term contract. This cannot be withdrawn over the length of the contract - an advantage over using a bank overdraft. Q Does my business need a history of trading profitably to qualify? A Yes. We look at the credit history and growth prospects of your business, to be satisfied repayments can be met. Repossessing the asset is seen as a last resort. Lombard specialise in asset finance. We ve established disposal routes if we need to enforce the security. Q How long does it take to get an agreement in place? A Each decision depends on the individual business, but for transactions under 150,000 it can take as little as 24 hours to get an initial decision. Whether it s face-to-face, by phone or online, there s often a short period after the initial decision to put formalities in place. Most sellers of assets will be familiar with this process and used to providing this information. Q Do I ever need to give additional security? A Security is mainly taken on the asset concerned, although we may ask for a guarantee if your business is borrowing a large proportion of the cost, and your balance sheet is developing or growing. Q What is a balloon payment? A This is a final lump sum payment, often reflecting the estimated value of the asset at the end of the agreement. By opting for such a payment, monthly instalments can be reduced, but you ll pay more interest overall, as the capital sum isn t reducing at the rate it would be if repayments were geared to cover the amount in full. Meerwind HI-10 by Steve Morgan, Highly Commended in the EEF Photography Competition 23, sponsored by Lombard.

26 Get in touch No matter where you are, you re never far away from one of our experts. We have a large team of asset finance experts based throughout the UK, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar. We re always happy to discuss your best options in person too - on site, or from any of our offices. Call us on Text Relay Visit us at lombard.co.uk

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