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UK Branch

The Half Time Results are In

News - 18 July 2018

It’s been an action packed first half of the year for the UK Lease team, but ABN AMRO’s Commercial Director Simon Lefevre reassures us that there’s no slowing down.

There’s no doubt that the first half of the year has been eventful – we’ve seen the team grow by 20% compared to this time last year and our portfolio has grown by 25%. A big thank you goes out to our introducers – through our valued partnership, we’re well on track to reach our target for the end of the year.

Funding for growth

This quarter the team has worked on numerous funding solutions and we’ve seen some really interesting deals pass over our desks, including various requests involving electric vehicles and buses which are of course closely aligned to our sustainability ethos.

One such transaction is our work with the Bibby Line Group – one of the oldest family businesses in the UK. Bibby Marine Services currently operates one state-of-the-art Damen Service Operation Vessel (SOV) and having won a 10 year contract with Siemens Wind Power has ordered a second SOV. Working closely with our colleagues in the shipping desk in Rotterdam, we were very pleased to support Bibby with the expansion of their SOV fleet. By assisting with the financing of the Damen built Wavemaster 2 we strengthen our position in this important and growing market.

A second landmark deal closed in the quarter involved partnering with a global logistics company to enable the development of a state-of-the-art distribution centre for a well known food company. This innovative collaboration sees us finance £40m of automated equipment for the plant and includes pre and post inception funding over a 15 year period.

These are just two examples of some of the more innovative funding structures we are offering alongside our more regular facilities and we look forward to working closely with you on more of these client focused deals in the second half of the year.

IFRS16 – the introducers’ role.

Under the new IFRS16 accounting rules, there are likely to be implications for some clients, at least in the short-term, around their treatment of operating leases. For example, will the new reporting standard create changes in their financial reporting that could result in breaching their banking covenants?

Considering this, alongside new opportunities, I believe it is important to be talking with our clients to better identify these implications to head off any problems, but also to work with opportunities that will positively impact their business.

From our perspective, we are up-skilling our own team, working with our external advisers to understand what questions we may face from our clients and the team will be happy to share this knowledge with you.

Of course, we don’t want to overcomplicate the change. But acknowledging IFRS16, and asking clients about their longer-term objectives and how they might be affected, will be a great way to help us deliver the best financing options for them. This may lead to fine-tuning our products and services to adapt them to the changes that IFRS 16 brings.

These are the types of questions that help us to face the challenges ahead. Every client will have its own operational, financial and reporting requirements and we can only properly start to address those unique needs for each of them when we’re sharing our thinking on the details behind the new accounting standard.

As you are aware, we have a very strong asset management team based here in the UK and I am confident that together with their support we can provide strong solutions to your clients.

Do talk to our team if you have any questions around this and to consider the possible opportunities to kick-start strategic financial thinking for 2019. Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you during the second half of the year.