As the effects of coronavirus pandemic on the European leasing industry become clearer, the Acquis Index shares some of the trends Acquis is witnessing in equipment leasing volumes that may prove a useful indicator for emerging trends in the wider leasing industry.

As an independent insurance administrator working in partnership with over 90 leasing companies across 13 European countries, Acquis has been providing specialist insurance programmes for equipment leasing for over a decade, and during the course of this time our management data has proved to be a reliable early indicator of changes in new business volumes across the leasing industry.

Acquis’ own volumes are predominantly made up of small ticket equipment with an average ticket size of €12,000.  58% of the volumes are made up of IT / office equipment, 15% retail and 12% manufacturing, with the remainder consisting of construction, material handling, medical and other assets.

Compared with our May index, in June we witnessed signs of recovery across the board. Lease origination volumes in the UK and Europe recovered to 53% of their Q1 average, rising from 36% in May. The Netherlands fared better than the European average, regaining 66% of the Q1 average of lease inceptions. However, France continued to experience a downturn in volumes, falling from 61% in May to 45% in June for new leases when compared to the average for the Q1 period.

Leases for restaurant equipment across Europe continued to experience an improvement in lease originations, with the tally rising to 35% of Q1, from lows of 18% and 24% in April and May respectively. Whilst the sector continues to take a big hit, there are encouraging signs of a continued upward trend, but it remains to be seen if this trend continues as the threat of a second wave continues to damage consumer confidence in some regions. Computer equipment also fared better than the average for equipment types, managing to achieve 60% of Q1’s average volumes.

The outlook for July suggests the recovery we’ve seen in June is set to continue, though to what extent will depend strongly on continued easing of lockdowns and could suffer fluctuations should areas of Europe experience resurgence of the virus.

Acquis’ Chief Commercial Officer, James Rudolf, comments, “We anticipated that June lease originations would stabilise around the May level, so it’s encouraging to see some signs of recovery, but whether this can be maintained remains to be seen. There is certainly some significant variation in how different European countries are being affected and this is something we will be watching closely to ensure we are best placed to support our clients in these regions especially as country specific government support schemes are amended or cease altogether.”