Banks still not lending!

According to a report out this morning, lending to consumers and businesses by banks has fallen to the lowest level in almost six years. Nothing in that report that we all did not know.

A leading economist said “Overall there is little in this data to suggest a break from recent trends. Business lending continues to contract” So what ever happened to quantitative easing? The Bank of England has already put £375 billion into this scheme, and yet, this has not filtered down to make a real difference. When I say a real difference, I mean one that is felt by real SME’s and companies who are fighting to survive, keeping jobs, and looking to invest in new equipment. Without  investment, we will simply stagnate.

Whilst the banks appear to have sat on their hands, help to SME’s have come from leasing companies. It is equipment leasing that is filling the gap left by the banks’ inertia. Latest figures show that equipment leasing and equipment finance grew by 9% in the last quarter. The largest growth in equipment leasing was I.T., up by 48% and plant & machinery, up by 13%.

It is not just in the UK where equipment leasing is growing, in Germany, growth was 3.6%, according to the German leasing Association, the BDL. A similar pattern has also happened in The Netherlands, where equipment leasing grew by just over 2%.

Oak is helping fund the gap left by the banks by funding everything from machinery, medical equipment, catering equipment, to shopfitting and IT equipment.

As we start to approach the autumn, it is crucial not to keep standing still, that is just an illusion. If you think you are standing still, in reality, you are going backwards. You have to invest for growth, and as you know, the banks are very slow in coming forward, so approach your equipment leasing companies for funding, especially Oak! And remember that Oak can help you arrange european equipment  leasing, both as a one off or a full supplier led programme. Well I had to say that didn’t I!

We are real people in the real world, very approachable, no tablets of stone underwriting, so just give us a call, and see how we can help you with your equipment leasing.

Posted in Equipment Leasing, European Leasing, leasing for SMEs | 7 Comments

Greece, tragedy or a marathon!

It has been quiet for the holiday period, so now all the politicians are back, it must be time for a summit or a crucial meeting.  The subject matter for the meeting is not something new, it will be concerning extra money to go to Greece.

The debate will be between the hawks, ( Germany) and the doves,(France). The decision will of course be put back until further meetings, simply continuing the agony for all sides.  But surely, the real debate here not about Greece at all, it is growth versus austerity.  We are all aware that the Greek economy was, how can I phrase it, generous to a fault.  However, this is a fact that most people are unaware of concerning Greece.

Pressure from the EU and the IMF has forced Greece to slash expenditure and raised taxes worth the equivalent of 20 percent of GDP , which dwarfs even what Ireland went through. And that is not all, this has happened in a very severe recession.

It is not just in Southern Europe where the debate continues about growth & austerity. In the Netherlands, a general election is rapidly approaching, where the anti austerity party, the Socialists, are currently running neck and neck with Mark Rutte’s  VVD, Christian Democrat coalition. Mr Rutte, has been a strong supporter of Chancellor Merkel, so the possibility of  Germany losing support from The Netherlands for austerity packages, could well reflect on the overall decision on Greece. Everything in Europe is interwoven, no matter what any politician might say to the contrary.

So as the Summer comes to an end, Europe has to look at a far wider picture that just Greece and Spain and Italy. The question they have to answer is simple. Is it still more austerity, which will increase the chances of sovereign default, or will they be brave, and go for some  growth package to enable countries to come out of the recession.

So, what started off as a tragedy, ended up as a marathon, it could only happen in Greece.

Since last weeks blog, a large European supplier has approached Oak to be its European equipment leasing partner, and in the first week, we have arranged over €480k of European leasing. So to stay ahead of the rest, just call Oak for all of your European equipment leasing in Europe.


Posted in Equipment Leasing, European Leasing | 12 Comments

Under the carpet, nothing new there than!

If an unexpected guest arrives at your house, you will do the 15 second tidy up, papers under the cushions, kick the remains of the dog biscuits under the carpet, and then open the door with a welcoming smile and say how wonderful it is for them to drop in unannounced!

Does this strike a chord with any of you? It should do, since it is happening in Europe almost every single day between various countries. When the Troika arrive in Athens, it happens, when Mario Draghi arrives in Madrid, it happens. Everything is almost all sweetness and light.

I stumbled on a very interesting fact during the week. We have believed that the very crux of the EU was Germany & France, ever since De Gaulle  and Adenauer signed the Treaty of Friendship in those heady days of 1963. However, in a recent French poll by IFOP, only 31% of French see Germany as their preferred partner, and a miserly 18% of Germans see France as their  preferred partner. This is not a recent change, but a figure that has been declining since 2003.

If the very heart of Europe is slowly moving apart, what happens to its limbs? Be in no doubt that whilst other EU leaders come up with ideas and come up with suggestions, the two crucial leaders are Merkel  and Hollande.  The ball is now very much in their court, but which one will lift the carpet and sort out the mess? Only time will tell,…. but is that the door bell?

Coming back on last weeks blog, Oak has been approached by three large pan european companies to assist in their european equipment leasing programmes.

I must also say thank you to the hundreds of people that comment on this blog. I cannot always reply individually, but please just accept this as a big thank you to you all.

Posted in Equipment Leasing, European Leasing | 13 Comments

When the going gets tough…

Way back in 1985, when Billy Ocean wrote the song, the UK was also in a tough economic time.  We find ourselves now in tough and hard times. Exports fell 3.1% and we have now the largest trade deficit for 15 years.

Over 40% of our exports are to other EU countries, and we all know that some of these are struggling. The key word here is some… the media tends to lump every country  together in the EU. Let me tell you now, there are EU countries that are growing, most of the Nordic countries are doing quite well, Sweden especially. Moving slightly south to the economies of Germany, and the Netherlands, still growing.

The alpine countries are growing, Austria and Switzerland.  If I said that the EU’s sixth largest economy grew by 3.8% in 2011 , and should grow by a further 2.5% this year (OECD forecast), I would think you would be amazed. This country is Poland.  So putting it simply the EU group is not all on a downward spiral.

This means that there are markets  and counties that can be sold to, ready to accept our exports. As with all things, it normally comes down to price. If I could show you a way to overcome the price objection for sales of equipment in Europe, many of you would wonder if it was possible.

I can tell you now how to overcome the price objection, it is very simple and has worked for everybody since I first went into leasing 37 years ago. You simply lead with a “ballpark leasing figure at the very start of your discussions, and by so doing minimising the cost of the equipment.

For only €1285 per month, you can enjoy the benefits and extra profits generated by this new piece of equipment. For all you equipment resellers, can you tell me what the invoice price of the equipment is? Please send your answers on the comments form, and I will respond to you.

As the song says, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” If you need a company who has the european equipment leasing experience to help you get tough in selling into Europe, you know who to call!

Oak Leasing, the european equipment leasing specialists.

Posted in Equipment Leasing, European Leasing | 6 Comments

Ostriches found in EU!

What, first with elephants in a room, now ostriches with heads in sand, whatever next. The problem is when your head is in the sand, you are leaving another part of your anatomy very exposed.

Mario Draghi, leader of the European Central Bank, said during the week, ” the euro was  irreversible”, so all would be well. A few weeks ago, I mentioned about the Grand of Duke of York, who marched up the hill , and marched them down again. In today’s FT, there is a comment from  Alan Wilde, head of fixed income at Baring Asset Management,  who said about Mario Draghi “He’s marched us all up the hill only to disappoint us on the way down.” It’s good to know that Oak is anticipating accurately what is going to happen in the euro zone!

The Spanish Government appear to be in a state of denial concerning their economy, as they do not wish to accept the conditions of a possible bail out. So if in doubt, put your head in the sand.

Hans Michelbach,who is a very senior member of the German parliament’s Finance Committee, said in an interview with the financial daily Handelsblatt that “the ECB be explicitly forbidden from buying sovereign bonds on the secondary market” That simple statement means that Mario’s scheme to save the euro is doomed to failure.

As Kipling said “If you can keep your head when all about you
are losing theirs” there are huge opportunites for manufacturers and suppliers to sieze in the eurozone. You simply need an experienced guide to help you navigate your way through the maze.

May I humbly suggest that Oak is the guide with the proven experience to help you in the european equipment leasing market place. Just give us a call, and leave the rest us, and we will help you avoid all of the ostriches!

Posted in Equipment Leasing, European Leasing | Leave a comment

Doom & gloom, I don’t think so !


Doom and gloom, I don’t think so!

Oak has a supplier who we have known for over 15 years . They are an experienced team who are very successful in the supplying  of bespoke shopfitting to a professional market .
As with everything at the moment, it is all down to cost,and every customer is trying to either ” make do and mend” or looking for the cheapest solution. We all know that apparently cheaper solutions almost always cost more in the longer run.
Coming back to my story,this supplier always offers a leasing solution at the very start of discussions. This openness  will normally guide the customer into making a decision, not purely based on a cash price,but makes them look at the longer picture, which is normally the real cheaper option.
This is no story, this supplier has arranged leasing for over £200k inthe last 6 weeks. That is not to be sniffed at, now or at any other time.
The key is to have a leasing landing page on your website, as a customer will assume, rightly or wrongly that you do not offer such a facility. In this present climate,anything  that can make  a customer come to you and that you can close a sale is absolutely  crucial.
If you agree, and want a chat about having a leasing page on your site, please just put your email address into the comments, and I will respond.
The last thought that I will leave you with is that leasing is a “sales-aid” , always has been, always will be, and Oak will always provide it.
I was taught many years ago, your brain is like a parachute, it only works if it is open! Any ideas to help suppliers sell in this climate must be welcomed.  Look forward to hearing from you.
Posted in Equipment Leasing | 15 Comments

Elephants in the room

Elephants in the room

One elephant in the room is quite enough normally, two is a definite luxury! You can ignore one elephant, but two, I do not think so!
Elephants are sizeable, no one will disagree with you on that point, actually seeing two , well  that is totally different, very hard to miss! Yet the general media appear to have not to see them.
With the euro zone,there has been an elephant stamping around for 2- 3 years, it is occasional seen at summits, but then  it disappears into the long grass .We all know that at some time, it will have to be discussed, but at the moment, let’s leave it under the carpet. But it does cast a large shadow over the future of the euro.
There is a second  elephant, almost a phantom, but has now been seen lurking  in darkened financial corridors. The phrase libor was one only heard normally in closed financial circles, but I have a sinking feeling that by the end of this year, libor will be discussed  on train stations and bus stops, and in general conversation.Every financial transaction was based on Libor, from loans, mortgages and overdrafts and even credit cards.We will soon realise how this has affected us all
The potential fall out from this one will make the demise of Leeman Bros look like a passing  shower. The fallout will affect everyone. This will grow gradually over the summer months. This is a developing story, and one to keep your eye on.
Just thought that you should be aware of the elephants. Hindsight is just a way of coming to terms of what has happened. Foresight tells you what is going to happen.
To be ahead of the game in European equipment leasing, you must have a company that has its finger firmly on the pulse. Hindsight is no good, foresight is what is required.
For further information on elephants or even European equipment leasing, just give Oak a call.
Posted in Equipment Leasing, European Leasing | 7 Comments

Club Med happy days!

Remember when Club Med was the in- thing, sun, sea and … Sangria! Just a relaxing time was had by all, everybody getting on well with each other, the only problem was the suncream, sand or no sand. Happy Days.

Now, Club Med is not a happy place,  Spain has announced a further increases in tax and benefit cuts amounting to another €64 billion. Social unrest is growing, and as the summer heats up, I am sure that there will be more clashes in Spain, and Greece.  Years of austerity ahead for them makes them wanting to blame someone.

Finland’s prime minister Jyrki Katainen, said yesterday, “The euro zone is in its most dangerous situation in more than two years, This situation is dangerous, very dangerous,”  Yet the North/South divide is beginning to open up. With Italy joining the Club Med group along with Portugal, and Germany, The Netherlands, Finland etc on the northern side.

You can see that I have left out France, and they are the crucial player. Hollande has arrived on the scene on a white charger, supporting demands of Club Med against mainly Germany. However his early promise is beginning to wane, France’s public debt rose by €74 billion in the first quarter of this year. It is purely a matter of time before France  will realise that they too will have to go down the austerity road.

Yet one country is turning this around, Ireland was on its knees, the people accepted terrible cuts, but they knew it had to be done. Now Ireland is emerging slowly from their banking crisis, with a multi billion euro growth package.

The eurozone saga will  undoubtedly stagger on throughout the summer, no matter if you are in Club Med or the North. The only difference will be the sun !!

For the complete european equipment leasing picture, speak to Oak, use our expertise and experience.



Posted in European Leasing | 8 Comments

Sales- aid back into equipment leasing

Going back to the start of equipment  leasing, ( I can almost remember that far back!) leasing was used to overcome the price objection, and was a true “sales-aid”

The general idea was to minimise the cost , by offering a monthly or a quarterly rental, and therefore making the sale easier.

Things have changed a great deal since then, but the general idea is still as valid now as it was then. To help any equipment suppliers, if you send quotes by email to your customers, we are offering you a template with a built in quick quote calculator.

We can personalise this quote by adding your logo’s, contact details etc, so that it is purely branded as your quote. This is not just limited to the UK, but is available to any European vendor who would wish to use the emailer  to offer a lease rental to help close a sale.Naturally, the email could be in whatever language that you require.

It might just help you close one more deal a month, to see a proof of what it could look like, just click on this link.

If you require any additions, we would be glad to help you.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in Equipment Leasing, European Leasing | 8 Comments

Banking and Football

If at the beginning of the Euro 2012 competition, if you were told that the two main winners were Spain and Italy, you would have Spain, yes Italy, no chance. Yet this evening they will go head to head in the Euro final.  The real match was on Thursday of course, when Spain and Italy, (with  French help) ambushed the Germans, and as we now know, Merkel blinked first.

At first sight, Germany lost, but did they really? In the longer term, with the  more governance of central banks by the EU,they, Spain and Italy, will have to adhere to more control over their budgets! Just what Germany was after in the long run

This move appears to have satisfied the markets,( perhaps only a breathing space) and with a push for growth,  perhaps the sun will come out! The key to growth is confidence, and if European equipment leasing is an indicator, confidence is rising.

This week alone, Oak has received european leasing enquiries totalling over 9 million euro’s. This shows that confidence appears to be back with a bang. So the upshot is, football is very good for the European economy. Now, when is the next tournament, hope is it next month?

Remember, Germany will always be the ultimate winner!


Posted in Equipment Leasing, European Leasing | 7 Comments