Asset finance surging

While the economic impact of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its associated social distancing rules has resulted in the shuttering of many businesses – there are some business areas that are seeking finance to grow.

Speaking to The Adviser, Tom Caesar, the chief executive officer of Nodifi – a diversification platform for mortgage brokers and car and leisure dealers – outlined that the business had seen a large uptick in enquiries from those seeking finance for the logistics, construction and medical industries as well as government and public services.

Mr Caesar commented: “We’ve seen an influx of business from the transport industry with trucks and logistics and engineering. We’ve also seen a lot of a lot of tradies, landscapers and maintenance personnel and those from the construction industry come in buying new equipment. They’re telling us that there is still a lot of work at the moment and that they haven’t actually seen a big impact to their businesses at the moment. [However, they are concerned with where it’s going to be in six to 12 months time]. So, we’ve still seen a lot of them come in buying new equipment now.”

Mr Caesar also revealed that agriculture also “seems to be doing well” with high demand for machinery to help with moving and sorting crops, as well as demand for asset finance for new equipment from government workers, and demand from the medical professions for medical equipment.

The Nodifi CEO added that the government’s recent announcement that it was extending the instant asset write-off from $30,000 to $150,000 and expand access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) had also resulted in an uptick in asset finance enquiries.

“We’ve actually seen that extension to the instant asset tax write-offs being predominantly used for trucks and machinery for these sectors,” he said.

“So, while the environment is very different to what it was before COVID-19, there are opportunities in the market. It’s just we need to look at it with a glass half-full, not a glass half-empty. And I think that’s the biggest challenge.”

Mr Caesar said that Nodifi was looking to support brokers find this business and stay ahead of the curve by offering daily updates on what lenders are writing business, and by building on its recent Grow Local marketing campaign by rolling out new marketing support packages to help brokers “find those opportunities and execute on them” in the coming weeks.

“Remember, there is business out there for asset finance, particularly for those industries that aren’t going to be impacted. So, if you can target those industries for new customers, you’re going to stay in business,” he said.