If you are looking for a financial solution to help purchase equipment or need to release cash flow to help your business, then an asset finance or asset-based lending could be the solution you need.
These finance arrangements allow you to benefit from the asset whilst repaying the loan or to lease the equipment. If this solution sounds like it could work for you then read on to discover what the leading financial providers in this sector can offer you.
The table below gives a quick comparison of the top UK asset-based lending and finance providers.
|Company||Hire purchase||Leasing||Release funding from assets|
|Bibby Financial Services||Yes||Yes||No|
|HSBC Invoice Finance||Yes||Yes||No|
|Nucleus Commercial Finance||No||No||Yes|
|IGF Invoice Finance||No||No||Yes|
|Barclays Invoice Finance||Yes||No||No|
|Santander Invoice Finance||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Metro Bank Invoice Finance||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|ABN AMRO Commercial Finance||No||No||Yes|
|Lloyds Bank Invoice Finance||Yes||Yes||No|
|Paragon Bank Invoice Finance||Yes||Not known||No|
|Trade Finance Global||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|White Oak UK||Yes||Yes||Yes|
* The facts and figures included here come from each company’s website and were accurate at the time of writing but may have since changed. Also, please keep in mind these may not be apples to apples comparisons as each provider offers different solutions. This guide should be used as a starting off point for more research on your part.
Below we profile each of the companies’ services and features in a bit more detail.
Note companies are ranked in no particular order and this no way indicates one solution is better than another.
1. Close Brothers
Some of the features and benefits of Close Brothers’ asset-based lending and finance.
- Fund against inventory and property
- Receive up to 90% of accounts receivable
- Blends invoice finance with fund released from other assets
- Utilise money from stock, property, plant and machinery
- Provides additional capital than what invoice finance can do on its own
- Most suited to business with a turnover of over £10 million
- Raise funds between £2-35 million
- Bespoke offering
- Asset finance is available offering a range of flexible funding offers
- Cash flow loans may be available for top-up funding
Close Brothers is a modern merchant bank that is one of the UK’s leading finance businesses. The business is made up of a group of businesses that specialise in different types of finance.
Close Brothers have two divisions which offer asset-based lending and asset finance. Close Brothers Invoice Finance provides a range of lending products which includes invoice factoring, invoice discounting and asset-based lending.
Their asset-based lending can be combined with invoice finance and can release funding from your stock, property, plant and machinery. Close Brothers Asset Finance provides a range of funding options which include hire purchase, leasing and refinancing that enable businesses to purchase the assets it needs to grow.
Some of the features and benefits of Aldermore’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Release funding from assets such as debtors, stock, machinery and property
- Utilise the value of multiple assets
- Combine invoice finance with asset lending to maximise working capital
- Tailored service
- Fast and cost-effective funding method
- Can grow with your business
- Asset finance also available to purchase assets
- Flexible hire purchase and lease finance available
- Competitive and transparent charges
- Dedicated business development manager
Aldermore is a financial services business that has been operating for over eight years. They focus on supplying services to small to medium-sized businesses. They offer a range of finance options which include invoice finance, asset-based lending, asset finance, and other specialised finance offerings targeting certain business sectors.
Aldermore’s asset-based lending service allows businesses who use their invoice finance services to access the funding tied up in multiple assets to increase their cash flow. These assets include debtors, stock, machinery and property. Aldermore also offers asset finance solutions which allow customers to access hire purchase and lease finance to purchase a wide range of assets from cars, machinery, wind turbines and IT equipment.
3. RBS Facflow
Some of the features and benefits of RBS Facflow’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Suitable for companies with a turnover above £10 million
- Release value from your assets
- Increase working capital
- Utilise funding from property, accounts receivable, equipment and inventory
- Helps bridge the gap between expenses and payments
- Good for high growth businesses with strong credit history
- Standalone solution or part of a wider funding package
- Ongoing credit facility
- Improve cash flow to enable you to negotiate discounts with suppliers
- Experienced staff that will work closely with you to tailor the funding solution
The RBS name is probably one the most well-known names in this sector as a large banking institution which has many banks within its RBS Group. RBS’ sub-business, RBS FacFlow, offers a range of lending solutions which include invoice finance and asset-based lending.
RBS FacFlow can offer a blended solution of finance that allows you to release the working capital from assets which include accounts receivable through to invoice finance, and releasing cash from property, equipment and inventory. This asset-based lending solution offers a flexible and tailored solution that can allow you to access cash flow to help your business grow and secure supplier discounts. Their experienced staff will work with you to create a solution that will aid your business’ finances.
4. Bibby Financial Services
Some of the features and benefits of Bibby Financial Services’ asset-based lending and finance.
- Funding for equipment hire purchase
- Funding for leasing equipment
- Refinance your assets
- Flexible finance
- Affordable repayments for large purchases
- Assists cash flow
- Tailored service
- Personal approach
- Established business
- Can finance a wide range of soft and hard assets
Bibby Financial Services offers a range of financial services to businesses that include invoice finance, asset-based finance, international trade and corporate funding. Their services are designed to help businesses grow and new business to develop.
Bibby Financial Services offers two types of asset-based lending, hire purchase and leasing. Hire purchasing allows you to purchase various types of equipment outright and repay the money in manageable monthly repayments. Leasing also enables businesses to get the equipment they require but Bibby Financial Services will purchase and own the equipment and will lease it to you. Under hire purchase, you can also release funding from existing equipment that you own.
5. Ultimate Finance
Some of the features and benefits of Ultimate Finance’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Access to funding to make purchases of business assets
- Hire purchase available
- Leasing available
- No upfront costs
- Manageable monthly payments
- Available for equipment, machinery and vehicles
- Borrow £5,000-£500,000
- Loan period from 12 to 60 months
- Next day decision on applications
- Funding released within a day
Ultimate Finance offers both hire purchase and lease finance within their asset finance that is available to limited and non-limited companies as well as invoice finance. Asset finance is available to purchase business assets such as equipment, machinery and vehicles.
Through hire purchase you will not own the asset but will be able to buy the asset at the end of the arrangement, you will also make monthly payments to Ultimate Finance. With leasing, Ultimate Finance owns the asset and you will pay a monthly rental fee and at the end of the arrangement you can continue to hire the equipment or they will sell the asset.
Some of the features and benefits of HSBC’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Fund or replace assets
- Cash flow to expand your business
- Options available include hire purchase, finance lease, operating lease and asset loan
- Tailored solutions
- Available for print equipment, commercial vehicles, IT hardware and software
- Also available for more complex asset finance needs
- Experienced teams to provide support
- Bespoke solutions for structured asset finance from £5-50 million
- Support in monitoring, tracking and maintaining IT assets
- Utilise asset finance alongside other financial solutions
HSBC offers a range of asset finance solutions, but they specialise in printing equipment finance, IT finance, structured asset finance and commercial vehicle finance.
HSBC’s printing equipment finance offers direct relationships with major manufacturers. Their IT finance assists businesses with access to their IT Lifecycle Management System which tracks, monitors and maintains your IT assets. The structured asset finance solution offers a bespoke package for more complex requirements that can loan between £5 million to £50 million. HSBC’s commercial vehicle finance allows you to choose your own supplier and negotiate as if you are a cash buyer, and you can also tailor repayments around your needs and seasonal commitments.
7. Nucleus Commercial Finance
Some of the features and benefits of Nucleus Commercial Finance’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Raise funding against business assets
- Lend against invoices, plant, machinery, stock and property
- Loans from £100,000 to £50 million
- Dedicated relationship manager
- Use a mixture of business assets as collateral
- Tailored solutions
- Transparent and simple charges
- Local decision making
- Fast decision outcome
- Experienced teams
Nucleus Commercial Finance is a financial services business that provides a wide range of products which include invoice finance, cash flow finance, business cash advance, asset-based lending, and construction finance.
Nucleus Commercial Finance provides asset-based lending to all business sectors in England and Wales. They support both established businesses and start-ups with asset lending against invoices, stock, property, plant and machinery. Nucleus Commercial Finance tailors their asset finance solution to their customer’s needs and they listen to them to create a finance package. They will assess your needs and assist you through the application process. Their charges are based on fixed monthly fees that are transparent and simple.
8. IGF Invoice Finance
Some of the features and benefits of IGF Invoice Finance’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Highly experienced lending team
- Unlock funding tied up in assets and debts
- Release cash from debtors (up to 90%), inventory (up to 85%), property (up to 75%), plant and machinery (up to 75%)
- Fast decision on loans
- Can provide top-up cash flow loans
- Versatile finance solution
- Ideal for funding expansion plans, acquisitions or management buy out
- Meets the demands of your timeframes
- Offers invoice discounting
- Offers commercial loans
IGF is an independent financial services provider that offers small to medium-sized business access to financial lending solutions that are designed to help businesses grow. They offer tailored financial solutions that are created to suit their clients’ needs, these include invoice finance and asset-based finance solutions.
IGF offers a range of asset-based lending solutions that allows businesses to assess capital that is tied up assets and debts. Clients can utilise debts, inventory, property, plant and machinery as collateral for loans to fund a variety of financial scenarios. IGF will use their experience and versatility to offer financial solutions tailored to you.
Some of the features and benefits of Sancus’ asset-based lending and finance.
- Secured loans backed by assets
- Fast and simple way to borrow money
- Experienced teams
- Take a holistic view of your business
- Easy to deal with
- Allows you to concentrate on your business
- Borrowing starts at £250,000 and has no limit
- Works with Co-Funders to finance the loans
Sancus is an independent financial services provider that offers businesses a range of lending solutions which can last from 0 to 60 months. These financial solutions include secure cash flow funding, asset-backed loans, supply chain finance, invoice trading, and education finance.
Sancus offers secured loans backed by assets to businesses and their lending value starts at
£250,000 and they do not impose a limit on the maximum loan amount. They offer asset-backed loans in conjunction with Co-Funders to share the risk. The minimum level for Co-Funders is £100,000. Sancus facilitate and monitor the loan and manage any issues.
10. Catalyst Finance
Some of the features and benefits of Catalyst Finance’ asset-based lending and finance.
- Offers asset secured loans
- Utilise existing assets such as unpaid invoices, confirmed orders or contracts
- Funds can also be released from HMRC rebates, business grants and government funding
- Quick access to funding
- Will work with other existing financial providers
- Good alternative to loans and overdrafts
- Online pre-qualification questions
- Available to businesses in England, Wales, and Scotland.
- Assist a wide range of business sectors
Catalyst Finance is a small and independent financial services provider who offer their services to small to medium businesses. They were originally established to cater to the SME sector and to offer them access to funding for short period of times to overcome cash flow issues.
Catalyst Finance’s asset secured loan services enables businesses to access the money tied up in assets and utilise it to help grow their business. They offer several solutions which include purchase order finance where you can use the value of these orders; confirmed order finance to use new contracts to raise funds; and rebate finance where you can borrow against guaranteed HMRC rebates, government grants and other rebates.
11. Barclays Invoice Finance
Some of the features and benefits of Barclays’ asset-based lending and finance.
- Fund equipment that your business needs
- Maintain your working capital
- Spread the cost of significant purchases
- Generate an income from your new assets whilst you pay for it
- Flexible solution
- Available from £10,000
- Spread the cost over 1 to 5 years
- Available to customers who have been with them for over a year
- Can be used on assets that are tangible, identifiable and removable
- Experienced provider
Barclays is a financial services provider that is a well-established bank that provides a substantial range of business finance solutions. Barclay’s financial services include cash flow finance and asset-based lending solutions that enable businesses to utilise the money tied up in invoices or to purchase new assets.
Barclay’s asset-based lending solution is an asset finance product that enables businesses to borrow the money they need to purchase assets to help their business grow. Financing starts at £10,000 and terms can be for between 1 to 5 years. The asset finance product is available to existing customers only that have been with them for more than a year.
12. Peak Cashflow
Some of the features and benefits of Peak Cashflow’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Provided with finance specialist CAS
- Bespoke asset finance solutions
- Available to new and existing clients
- Finance a wide range of assets
- Acquire new or second-hand assets
- Fund vehicles, machinery, equipment, new technologies and more
- Re-finance an existing asset
- Quick turn around
- Experienced provider
Peak Cashflow is an independent financial services provider who offers several financial lending solutions which allow clients to get finance against their unpaid invoices, assets, and purchase new equipment. Their services include invoice finance, asset finance and trade finance.
Peak Cashflow’s asset finance solutions are provided in partnership with a financial services specialist called CAS. They offer finance against a wide range of assets which include vehicles, machinery, equipment, new technologies and more. They state that they offer it across so many assets that it may able even surprise you. They also offer finance against existing assets to help release cash flow.
13. Santander Invoice Finance
Some of the features and benefits of Santander’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Available to finance vehicles, yellow plant and other heavy machinery
- Available to invest in assets ahead of an expansion
- A simple and flexible funding mechanism
- Spread the cost of purchasing assets
- Fixed payments with a choice of frequency
- Support provided by accredited and experienced staff
- Access to their Relationship Directors
- Quick decisions made on assets below £125,000
- Credit decisions as quick as two hours
- Choice of hire purchase, leasing and loans
Santander is a leading bank which provides a range of business financial services and these include products such as loans, asset finance, invoice finance, and overdrafts. Their invoice finance solutions include invoice factoring and invoice discounting service.
Santander’s asset finance solution includes hire purchase, leasing and loans. Hire purchase gives you the option to buy the asset and have legal ownership of it. There are two leasing options which are leasing finance and operating finance, these allow you to continue to rent the asset after the end of the lease contract or to return the asset. Or you can get a loan that is either secured or unsecured.
14. Metro Bank Invoice Finance
Some of the features and benefits of Metro Bank’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Spread the cost of purchasing assets
- Available for assets such as machinery, vehicles and equipment
- Refinance assets to release cash flow
- Flexible payments that can factor in seasonal cash flow
- Assets must be durable, identifiable, moveable and saleable
- Finance available for assets such as plant, equipment, commercial vehicles, cars
- Allows you to preserve other lines of credit
- Hire purchase and leasing solutions can provide tax benefits
- Assets can be new or used
- Experienced Business Development Managers
Metro Bank is an independent bank and financial services provider that offers greater access to their services and a personal approach through their stores which are open seven days a week. They have created their offerings to cater for smaller businesses. Their products include invoice finance, asset finance, loans and overdrafts.
Metro Bank’s asset finance offers hire purchase, leasing and asset refinancing solutions. Hire purchase and leasing will require a deposit which is typically 10% of the asset’s value. Their refinancing option allows you to release cash flow from existing assets. They use a sale and lease back structure where you would sell the asset to them which can raise up to 75% of the value of the assets.
15. ABN AMRO Commercial Finance
Some of the features and benefits of ABN AMRO’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Release funding from existing assets
- Can raise significantly greater funding than other lending solutions
- Release up to 80% of your assets value
- Get up to 50% more than other lenders due to their creative finance approach
- Refinance without surrendering equity
- A solution that can grow with your business
- A lending package built around your requirements
- Raise between £50,000 to £50 million
ABN AMRO Commercial Finance is one part of a large banking group from the Netherlands whose services include commercial and private banking services around the globe. They provide a range of finance solution to business start-ups to £1bn businesses which include invoice financing and asset-based lending solutions to help businesses raise capital.
ABN AMRO Commercial Finance’s asset-based lending solution includes invoice factoring, invoice discounting and raising funds from existing assets. Asset-based lending starts at £50,000 and goes up to £50 million. The level of funding you can raise against an asset is dependent on the type of assets, such as 80% on plant and machinery, 50% on finished products, 60% on property and 30% of raw materials.
16. Lloyds Bank Invoice Finance
Some of the features and benefits of Lloyds Bank’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Purchase assets without a conventional loan or upfront cost
- Spread out payments
- Funding for assets such as vehicles, plant and office equipment
- Competitive interest rates
- Receive funding response within 24 hours
- Fast and efficient phone-based service
- Offer both hire purchase and finance lease
- Specialist propositions available for some business sectors
- Available to businesses with sales over £50,000
- Large and experienced banking provider
Lloyds Bank is a large banking and financial services business that offers a wide range of financial products and lending solutions to businesses of all sizes including business start-ups. Their lending solutions include invoice finance and asset-based lending solutions.
Lloyds Bank’s asset finance offering includes hire purchase and finance lease. Hire purchase allows you to spread the cost of the purchase and the option to purchase the asset at the end of the term. Finance lease gives you a deferred payment plan when purchasing an asset. They have developed specialist propositions for manufacturing businesses, healthcare businesses, agricultural businesses and professional practices.
17. Paragon Bank Invoice Finance
Some of the features and benefits of Paragon Bank’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Provides a specialist asset finance function
- Finance a wide range of assets including equipment, construction, technology and vehicles
- Available for new and used assets
- Personal assessment
- Provide support to help your business finances
- Services include invoice finance
- Over 25 years experience
- Dedicated service offerings to specific sectors
Paragon Bank is a specialist bank based in the UK which provides lending services. Their services include lending and savings products such as mortgages, asset finance, invoice finance, development finance and structured lending.
Paragon Bank’s asset finance solutions are tailored to a variety of sectors which include business equipment, construction, fleet and logistics, commercial vehicles, pro AV and broadcast, invoice finance, print and packaging, technology, professions, medical, aviation and agriculture. Paragon Bank has a wealth of experience with over 25 years in some of their market sectors. They will assist you in assessing your needs and help to find the right the solution.
18. Trade Finance Global
Some of the features and benefits of Trade Financed Global’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Finance solutions for purchasing assets
- Refinancing of capital equipment
- Spread the cost of purchasing equipment or assets
- Offers hire purchase and finance lease to purchase capital equipment
- Also offers operating leases where you can borrow an asset
- Solutions that are designed for SMEs
- Ownership of assets can vary
- Asset-backed lending
- Sale and leaseback
Trade Finance Global is a finance and trade broker who operate globally. They offer a range of flexible finance solutions which include trade finance solutions, financial products and business funding for businesses from SMEs upwards in the UK and globally. They believe that they are at the forefront of global trade.
Trade Finance Global offers a wide range of asset finance solutions which include options that allow you to purchase capital equipment through hire purchase and finance lease, and the ability to borrow an asset for a fixed period through an operating lease. They support SME businesses to help them invest and grow their business.
19. White Oak UK
Some of the features and benefits of White Oak UK’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Fast and easy solutions
- Financing can be available within 48 hours
- Tailored solutions
- Products include hire purchase, finance lease and commercial loans
- Also offers specialist asset finance options
- One of the UK’s leading independent financial providers
- Claim they have cut the red tape and bureaucracy to make their services more streamlined
- Has been providing financial solutions for over 30 years
- Highly rated on review sites
White Oak UK is one of the largest independent lenders that work with small businesses and they are ranked the number one non-bank business finance provider on Feefo. They have been helping UK businesses for over 30 years with financial solutions including asset finance, business loans, commercial mortgage, and education lease.
White Oak UK’s asset finance solutions include hire purchase where you can repay the asset costs in installments, finance lease which allows you to rent assets and offer a variety of options at the end of the lease, and commercial loans. They also offer specialist asset finance solutions which include vehicle leasing, asset refinancing, biomass boiler finance, and farming input loans.
20. Selina Finance
Some of the features and benefits of Selina Finance’s asset-based lending and finance.
- Competitive finance products
- Secured loan
- Flexible finance solutions
- Transparent service
- Credit based on residential property
- Secured against buy-to-let properties
- Option to make interest-only payments
- Tailored finance for property investors
- Credit facility of up to £1 million
- No early repayment or valuation fees
Selina Finance is a secured loan provider to both individuals and businesses. They claim to provide a competitive and transparent service to their customers. They offer two business products – Business Credit Facility and Property Investor Credit Facility.
Selina Finance’s Business Credit Facility offers £25,000 to £1 million for terms up to 30 years. The Business Credit Facility is a secured loan that is secured against your residential property or a buy-to-let property and you can use the funds when needed. The Property Investor Credit is a tailored loan facility specifically for property investors and is secured against one or more buy-to-let property. Interest-only payments are available on this loan.
* Please note we may be paid a fee if you visit Swoop and/or EJ Finance to take out a loan.
What is asset finance?
Asset finance is a specialised means of providing working capital and term loans to businesses by collateralising them with accounts receivable, inventories, vehicles, machinery, equipment, or real estate. It is, in essence, any loan made to a business that is secured by one of the business’s assets.
Asset-based financing is frequently used to cover expenses when a company’s cash flow is temporarily constrained or when the typical time lag between purchasing raw materials and receiving payment for goods or services from customers exists.
Still, you can also use it to finance startup companies, refinance existing loans, finance growth, mergers and acquisitions, and management buy-outs (MBOs) and buy-ins (MBIs).
Asset financing is often referred to as business finance or asset-based lending. Financial service providers are governed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for asset finance regulated guidelines.
Four types of asset finance
A lender buys the asset on the borrower’s behalf as part of a contract hire. The borrower will make regular payments to the lender to repay the hire purchase agreement.
The lender acquires ownership of the asset and retains it until the loan is repaid. After the borrower has made the last payment, they will have the option of receiving the asset for a nominal fee.
An operational lease is relatively similar to an equipment lease, except that an operating lease is usually longer but does not cover the asset’s life. As a result, operational leases are often the most cost-effective option since the asset is borrowed for a shorter amount of time.
Payments are shown for the time of the asset’s use, not for its full value. Operating leases are advantageous to businesses who want equipment for a short- to medium-term time to satisfy their needs.
Because of its independence and flexibility, equipment leases are common to finance assets. An equipment lease is an asset finance agreement between a company (borrower) and a lender that allows the borrower to use the equipment for the lease period.
The business continues to make payments until the contract period has expired. When the lease ends, the company may either return the borrowed equipment, renew the lease, upgrade to newer equipment, or buy it outright.
Asset refinance is used when a company wants to get a loan by offering existing assets as collateral. Assets like real estate, vehicles, equipment, and even accounts receivable are used to show creditworthiness.
Instead of evaluating the company’s creditworthiness, the lender will determine the pledged assets and determine the loan amount accordingly.
How does asset-based financing work?
At its most basic level, you choose the business assets you want, the finance company pays for them, and you get them according to a pre-arranged contract. This means you will have immediate access to the equipment you need without making a significant upfront payment that might negatively impact your cash flow.
Payments are made following the terms of the agreement, which are typically monthly but may vary. For example, annual payments are generally preferable for schools, and seasonal schedules can be arranged for businesses that experience significant seasonal variability, such as construction firms.
Is asset finance a lease?
A finance lease, also known as a capital lease, is a form of asset financing. Finance leases also provide you with access to the item in exchange for a monthly rental payment. Still, you bear the risks and benefits of ownership since you are often forced to sell the asset after the contract and collect the balloon payment.
After the first lease expires, the lessor may offer you the option of continuing to rent the item, maybe at a lower fee. A good example of finance leases is vehicle asset finance – renting a fleet of vehicles for your business.
Is asset finance secured lending?
The most conventional kind of asset finance is a secured loan, in which a business borrows money by putting existing assets as collateral for the debt. The asset finance provider analyses the value of the pledged assets rather than the company’s overall creditworthiness.
If the loan is not returned, the lender has the right to confiscate the assets provided as security for the debt. Unsecured loans do not need security; nonetheless, the asset finance providers may have a broad claim on the business’s assets if repayment is not made.
Secured loans often carry lower interest rates, making them more appealing to businesses looking for general business asset finance.
What are some examples of assets?
With asset finance companies, you can get nearly any piece of equipment necessary for your business’s growth.
Agriculture, construction, education, transportation, green energy, manufacturing, trash disposal, retail, and medical are a few industries that benefit from asset finance agreements. The industry often refers to assets as either hard or soft.
Hard assets include:
– Equipment for material handling
– Presses for printing
– Manufacturing machinery
Soft assets include:
– Information technology and communications equipment
– Systems of protection
– Catering supplies