Against the current backdrop of economic volatility and rising interest rates and costs, asset finance can play a key role in overcoming buyers’ hesitancy to invest and help businesses wanting to invest to access the equipment they need.

Our Head of Partner Training & Development, Andy Milsom, hosted a webinar earlier this week to discuss current market challenges and opportunities that partners face, and the ways in which asset finance can support their customers’ commercial objectives.

Sam Reddish, UK Sales Manager for our Construction and Logistics team summarises some of the key takeaways from Andy’s webinar and looks at how current trends are specifically affecting the Materials Handling sector.

Key Takeaways

 1.  Inflation, stock supply issues, rising inflation and energy costs are exerting pressure.

 2.  Changing consumer habits, rapid tech innovation and pent-up demand are driving factors in current investment decisions.

 3.  Conversely, rising costs, scarcity of equipment and threat of recession are leading some businesses to delay or decide against investment.

 4.  Asset finance can help business owners to access equipment, spreading the cost of acquisition, managing cashflow and helping guard against inflation.

Push and pull factors influencing investment decisions

It’s probably fair to say that market challenges arising from the pandemic and Brexit have affected suppliers, manufacturers, and dealers and continue to test the resilience of the supply chain. Rising energy costs, stock shortages, inflation rises, and technological change are all exerting pressure. All this, with the announced increase in corporation tax from April 2023, mean it’s more important than ever for business owners to adapt to rapid changes in the market in order to thrive.

It’s a complex picture, with a large increase in consumer spending post-pandemic considered to be one of the main drivers of the 2021/2022 economic rebound. Low business investment throughout lockdown also caused a pent-up demand, contributing to shortages and increased costs post-pandemic¹.

The recent boom in e-commerce is a key consumer trend which is leading logistics professionals to reassess their warehousing, equipment, and software needs. Some are expanding or re-configuring their premises and/or investing in new warehouse management systems (WMS) to streamline their operations and ensure the fastest possible route to stock. Automation and AI can also help to lower labour costs and alleviate the current labour shortage. Autonomous label scanning for example can save operators up to 40 hours per week, freeing resources for other areas of the business².

Increasingly supply chain professionals are also being asked to prove their commitment to sustainable operations and growth. This, combined with the desire to help mitigate rising overheads such as energy costs, is leading some business owners to base their investment decisions around new technologies and alternative energies. Lithium, for example, is now becoming more prevalent in the market and we are seeing increasing demand for financing these technologies.

In summary, despite ongoing volatility, business investment is forecast to rebound strongly over the next two years with many logistics businesses making the decision to invest in new infrastructure and technologies.

Nonetheless, there are a number of key considerations which may be playing an important factor in some delaying or deciding against business investment, such as the rising cost and scarcity of equipment, increasing consumer uncertainty due to the rising cost of living and rumours of recession, not to mention the planned increase of corporation tax in April 2023.

So how can asset finance help?

Against this complex backdrop of economic volatility and drive for efficiencies, asset finance can assist business owners in accessing equipment in a number of ways.

For example, if short-term supply chain issues are proving to be a roadblock to investment, Contract Hire provides the funding to allow businesses to take delivery as soon as the equipment is available.

Contract Hire, as opposed to outright purchase, also helps spread the cost of acquisition and keeps cash in the business. As an alternative to extending a bank loan, Contract Hire can also keep existing credit lines in place and help ensure bank funding is available to its fullest extent if needed.

A key benefit in the current climate is that Contract Hire can also guard against inflation; allowing a deal to be struck while stock is available and locked in at today’s prices. Additionally, it remains unaffected by corporate tax increases, as all payments under a contract hire agreement can be charged as a business expense and offset against tax.

The consideration for the business owner moves away from cost price to total cost of ownership and return on investment.

So how can we help?

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions has been present in the Materials Handling sector for more than 30 years, supporting our manufacturer and dealer network, which ranges from corporates & PLCs to smaller owner-managed businesses.

We strive to offer flexibility and support to our partners, working together to best assist them in uncertain times. We believe in building strong partnerships with a long-term and realistic view of the market.

Our experienced team operates across the UK. To find out more about how we can help support you and your customers to achieve their business objectives, please contact us at the link below.

¹ Office for National Statistics, September 2022, Business investment in the UK: April to June 2022 revised results
² Andrei Danescu, October 2022, Supply Chain Technology, The Logistics report, pg 14

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions is not authorised to provide tax advice. You should consult an accountant in order to understand the tax consequences of any investment decision.

enquiryWe are committed to your business growth.

Our competitive finance solutions can help you capitalise on new opportunities. Contact us today to discuss your needs with a member of our team.

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK has announced its industry-renowned, Finance Unlocked training programme is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited.

The free Finance Unlocked training programme was launched by BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions 6 years ago. It enables partners to develop their knowledge about finance and leasing as well as guide them through regulatory and legislative changes.

Over 2000 industry professionals have participated in Finance Unlocked training. The recent CPD accreditation gives partners a professionally recognised qualification and an extra level of industry understanding to set them apart from their peers.

Training can be arranged through a BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions Account Manager. Finance Unlocked comes in foundation and advanced levels and can be tailored for individual partners.Specialist markets covered by Finance Unlocked include; IT & Telecoms, Agriculture, Materials Handling, Construction, Commercial Vehicles, Healthcare and Food Processing and Packaging Equipment.

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK appoints Jean-Michel Boyer as new UK CEOCommenting on the news, Jean-Michel Boyer, CEO of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK said:

At BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions we are committed to upholding the highest industry standards. For a number of years, we have passed our expert knowledge on to the industry through our Finance Unlocked training course, available free across a number of sectors.

This CPD accreditation is a testament to the quality of our Finance Unlocked training, and a mark of professionalism for those who chose to undertake the programme.

Share post:

enquiryWe are committed to your business growth.

Our competitive finance solutions can help you capitalise on new opportunities. Contact us today to discuss your needs with a member of our team.

Welcome to Partner Zone - screen capture

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK has announced the launch of its new self-serve partner portal; Partner Zone.

The platform has been launched following a successful trial with partners in the commercial vehicle and IT markets.

Partner Zone will enable partners to access all documentation they need to transact business under one digital roof. Collateral available through the platform includes essential forms, marketing assets, operational guides and e-documents. 

Partner Zone also features a powerful communications engine allowing timely reminders to be issued about key products and services to partners.

Finance Unlocked, the business’ renowned asset finance training programme is also accessible via the Partner Zone. The digitalisation of Finance Unlocked enables individuals to learn at their own pace and regularly refresh their knowledge.

Commenting on the launch of Partner Zone, Suhale Vorajee, Chief Transformation Officer of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK, said:

The launch of our new Partner Zone is a very exciting step forward for BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions. Central to our transformation strategy is to deliver digital experiences that make it really easy for our customers to work with us. We’re really excited to launch Partner Zone and in the coming months look forward to adding more features such as dashboards and lead management.

Share post:

enquiryWe are committed to your business growth.

Our competitive finance solutions can help you capitalise on new opportunities. Contact us today to discuss your needs with a member of our team.

Our world is now dominated by talk of a new industrial revolution, one that takes digitalisation and artificial intelligence to new and unprecedented levels.

However, for all the talk about driverless cars and cryptocurrencies, there are many businesses that do not take full advantage of proven technology which has been available for many years.

Top five facts:

  • Electronic signatures can prove the origin of any communication.
  • Typewritten, scanned, fingerprint or retina detection all classify as an e-signature.
  • Customers can electronically sign a contract on any device from anywhere.
  • Suppliers can see who’s viewed the contract and if it’s been signed – avoiding unnecessary chasing.
  • E-signature is quick, easy and avoids mistakes.

The history of electronic signature

In 2000, the government, then led by Tony Blair, passed the Electronic Communications Act which recognised electronic signatures as legally binding. Some seventeen years later large parts of the business world have still not fully embraced the significant opportunities offered by this facility.

Electronic signatures were developed to simplify business transactions because they can prove the origin of any communication, show whether there has been any alteration to a document and maintain confidentiality, all key elements of every contractual negotiation.

What is classed as an e-signature?

Let’s remind ourselves that electronic signatures can come in many forms: ‘typewritten’, scan of original signature, electronic representation, biometric identification (fingerprint, retina detection) or a unique representation of characters.

Broadly speaking these can be divided into two types: simple, such as scanned documents and tick boxes, or advanced, where signatures clearly identify and authenticate the signatory and are linked to data that can detect any change.


It goes without saying that high value and complex transactions require the greatest security and authentication, which leads us to the use within the leasing industry. Financial transactions require the highest level of security, and it has taken banks and finance companies a little longer than some industries to develop and test the technology required to roll out e-signature capability, especially when integrating into a complete digital package.

At BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, LeasEsign is used to ‘close’ an ever-growing number of contracts. LeasEsign has been developed specifically for situations where leasing has been introduced by a supplier to a customer as a means of acquiring goods and services. Once a customer has accepted the terms and conditions involved they are sent an email with a link to the contract which can then be downloaded and ‘signed’ on any device. The entire transaction can be completed at the point of sale whilst providing all parties with easy and ongoing access to the contract.

In situations where an authorised signatory is not available at the point of sale, an email with a link to the contract is sent to the individual who can quickly sign and return. The supplier can also see who has viewed the contract and when it has been signed. This ensures no effort is wasted chasing things up or arranging to get paper documents signed.

More businesses should be embracing the technology that can significantly reduce mistakes and delays whilst offering the benefit of ongoing access to contracts through ‘on line’ storage.

Watch our video on LeasEsign

Andy MilsomAndy Milsom, Head of Partner Training & Development at BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions

Andy is an experienced sales and finance professional with over 25 years’ experience in sales aid leasing. Andy is widely recognised as an expert in business finance and has in recent years focused his attention on developing partner sales teams develop an understanding of how businesses secure project financing. His training programme – Finance Unlocked – is a highly rated customisable course and is offered at no cost to partners.

If you’re interested in helping your sales team overcome finance-related hurdles during the selling cycle, please get in touch with Andy on 07966 114 243 or email here.

Share post:

enquiryWe are committed to your business growth.

Our competitive finance solutions can help you capitalise on new opportunities. Contact us today to discuss your needs with a member of our team.

Nicolas Marque discusses how BNP Paribas has approached regulatory changes by digitising its business and adapting its IT systems.

Nicolas Marque, global head of equity derivatives at BNP Paribas global markets discusses how the bank has tackled regulatory changes by digitising its business and adapting its IT systems, and why investment andacquisitions in infrastructure make it stand out in the equity derivatives space. 

Will investors’ appetite for equity products continue to grow in 2018 following this year’s surge? 
Nicolas Marque, BNP Paribas: Investors’ appetite for structured equity products depends on the momentum in the underlying and structuring conditions – momentum is expected to remain favourable to equities. Although a number of risks have arisen – high valuations, for example – the consensus is that benign conditions and attractiveness of equities relative to other asset classes should be prolonged for most of 2018.


How has BNP Paribas tackled regulatory changes in the financial services industry and adjusted its business model to new frameworks? 
Nicolas Marque: Mifid II is a wide-reaching regulatory change that impacts the entire business value chain – both on our side and the clients’. An adaptation of our IT systems has been essential to meet these new regulatory requirements while maintaining our efficiency. Digitalisation of our business enables us to capture the relevant data more easily, change processes quickly, automate repetitive tasks and ultimately respond to our clients in a seamless manner…

Share post:

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK Linkedin

Unified communications, real-time collaboration, internal chatbots and personal assistants – today’s main technology trends are giving us a foretaste of what our working environment will feel like in the near future.

Don’t talk about your ‘workstation’ any more. Get used to the idea of the ‘digital workplace’. Over the years our business environment has become entirely digital. Goodbye to desk diaries, phone directories, Who’sWho booklets, business cards, you name it. The last bits of paper that were cluttering up our desks have vanished. Even the good old family photo that used to sit in a frame on your desk has now become your screen wallpaper.

Along the way we have seen the arrival of virtualisation and then the Cloud. Using portals and shared work spaces, company employees can nowadays access apps and useful information from one and the same interface. They can work where and when they want – at home, in an airport or at a hotel, at a fixed workstation, on a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Share post:

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK Linkedin

Signalling its commitment to customer experience, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions has developed a suite of new tools to simplify the sales process for its partner network. These include:

  • The Lease Offers app for partners operating in the IT, telecoms and office equipment market. The app enables users to submit, track and edit credit applications in real-time, which can help to close sales opportunities more quickly.

Find out more about Lease Offers by watching this short video

  • SalesAid, designed for the complex needs of the farm, construction, materials handling and commercial vehicle sectors. In its latest guise as an app, it can calculate quotes immediately and sync with the company’s core lease management system in real-time. This in turn allows partners to obtain a credit decision, and generate electronic documentation. The SalesAid app is now available to download from the Apple store.

Find out more about SalesAid by watching this short video

  • LeasEsign is an e-signature service that eradicates the need to send paper contracts to customers for signing. The entire process is paperless, leaving no room for human error, and is accessible from any desktop or touch-screen device, for all markets.

Find out more about LeasEsign by watching this short video

Each tool is designed to provide fast, 24-hour access to important sales information whether in the office or between meetings. Users can check their sales pipeline at any stage, and build better relationships with new and existing clients:

Tristan Watkins, UK CEO, comments:

By investing in these platforms, we’re showing that we’re committed to helping our partners benefit from digital advances. These new tools have been developed to add real value to our partners during their sales process and helps them to offer a superior, responsive client experience. BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions is continuing to grow and become more established in our core markets.”