Market Data

AF50UK 2023: Opportunities amidst challenges


The UK’s asset finance industry has demonstrated determination and resilience in a challenging and uncertain economic environment. To maintain a healthy asset finance market, industry players have tackled these economic obstacles head-on, identifying opportunities and focusing on a sustainable asset finance industry.

That’s the message from a unique study of the UK’s asset finance industry which reveals how the sector, even when facing economic adversity and challenging climate change initiatives, remains a valued and vital financing solution for UK SMEs.

The exclusive 2023 Asset Finance 50 Report provides in-depth analysis of the market, including expert commentary from finance company executives.

The annual AF50 is the UK’s most influential survey of business and equipment lessors, which tracks the health of the market and identifies the key trends that are set to have an impact on the sector.

This year’s report, sponsored by Alfa, covers the industry’s activities during the economic and geopolitical crisis. Yet the data shows the total net investment in leasing for the top 50 firms was £43.7 billion, a rise of 5.6% from £41.4 billion last year (on a like-for like basis), demonstrating the sector’s strengths and resilience.

Despite the economic challenges facing the post-Covid financial landscape, the AF50 data shows that 18 firms reported an increase in their book of over 10% with two firms reporting extraordinary increases of over 50%. Newer entrants are continuing to move up the Top 50 and new opportunities, notably in financing sustainable assets and new consumption-based financing models, are further developing in the asset finance industry.

In addition to profiling the largest companies in the UK asset finance arena, the report includes in-depth analysis of the industry.

You can download a free copy of the report by completing the form at the end of this article.

This year’s AF50 UK includes:

  • Full listing of AF50 companies ranked by net investment in business equipment leasing
  • Largest fleet lessors
  • Largest manufacturer lessors
  • Breakdown of the market by type of lender
  • Breakdown of the market by location of ownership
  • AF50 by key performance indicators, including the fastest growing companies
  • Payroll analysis
  • Loan performance analysis

Industry leaders also provide their outlook on a changing industry in this year’s report.

The annual AF50 UK is published by Asset Finance Connect in association with Asset Finance Policy.

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Julian Rose, director of Asset Finance Policy and compiler of the AF50 UK data, said that the level of change in the AF50 was the highest in the eight years the survey has been running, commenting, “In addition to five new entrants, there are several smaller firms with strong ambitions that could make the AF50 next year. For every joiner there is a leaver and it’s important to recognise the key role that IBM has played in the industry’s history. IBM’s exit this year as it continues to shift to services-based asset solutions should renew the healthy debate about how we define and measure assset finance, particularly in light of the growth of some innovative sustainability-focused business models that may not qualify as leases under accounting rules.”

The survey is based on audited and publicly available accounts or other published information, using the latest data filed at Companies House.

Edward Peck, chief executive officer of Asset Finance Connect, said: “This year’s AF50 provides a breakdown of the industry as it faces unprecedented economic challenges – rising inflation and interest rates, a cost-of-living crisis, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Providing an invaluable and vital financing solution for UK industry during such times, asset finance is also committed to achieving a more sustainable economy by adapting their business models and processes on the road to net zero.”