European SMEs favour leasing above any form of
bank lending and use it more than larger companies.
A report published by Leaseurope into the use
of leasing among SMEs in Europe found leasing was used by more of
the companies surveyed than any individual form of bank
The report found 40% of SMEs used leasing in
2010 while the 2011 figure is expected to reach 43%. In 2010, 16.7%
of total SME investment was financed by leasing and is expected to
grow to 18.6% in 2011.
The leasing penetration rate for businesses of
all sizes in the same countries in 2010 stood at 12.9%, meaning
SMEs used leasing to finance a greater portion of investment than
The report, compiled by economic consultancy
Oxford Economics, was based on a survey of just under 3000 small,
medium and micro businesses in Europe in July 2011 across nine
industrial sectors in Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain,
Netherlands, Poland and Sweden. Together the eight countries
account for 83% of total EU economic output and 78% of the European
Lessee SMEs invested 57% more in their
businesses on average than businesses using no asset finance,
according to the report. Leaseurope said in a statement that small
companies in particular invested more than non-users because
leasing is one of the few external financing options available to
firms of that size.
Tanguy van de Werve, director general of
Leaseurope said the report had been a research priority at the
trade body for some time and provided evidence that leasing is
crucial form of finance for the sector.
“The topic of leasing to SMEs is important to
the industry because Europe’s small businesses are our key client
segment. However, to date there has been a lack of information on
the topic at European level. No longer,” he said.
Jukka Salonen, chairman of the Leaseurope
board and chief executive of Nordea Finance said: “The current
focus on the role SMEs play in stimulating investment and economic
growth in Europe means that there is potential for European
policymakers to place greater emphasis on the support leasing can
provide to SMEs.
“This report demonstrates that leasing is a
vital source of investment financing for SMEs and that promotion of
this market would ensure that European SMEs can invest and expand
more in the future.”