Asset Finance


Consumer Finance


Motor Finance


FAQs

Basic information about the FLA
What is the FLA?
How long has it been around?
Who are FLA members?
What exactly is it that the FLA does?
How is the FLA involved with Government?
How is the FLA involved in Europe?
What are consultations?

Company Information
How is the FLA funded?
How many members does the FLA have?
What kind of corporate structure do you have?
Who are the FLA stakeholders?

What we do

Asset Finance
What is asset finance?
What do we do in the asset finance sector?
What is the industry doing to protect customers?

Consumer Finance
What is consumer finance?
What do we do in the consumer finance sector?
What types of consumer credit do FLA members offer?
What is the industry doing to protect consumers?
What is the FLA Lending code?

Motor Finance
What is motor finance?
What do we do in the motor finance sector?
What finance options are available when buying from motor dealerships?

For Consumers
What is our role when dealing with complaints?
How do I make a complaint about an FLA member?

BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE FLA

What is the FLA?
The Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) is the UK’s leading trade association for the asset, consumer and motor finance sectors in the UK, and due to the diversity of its membership is the largest organisation of its kind in Europe.

How long has it been around?
Since 1992, following the merger of the Equipment Leasing Association and the Finance Houses Association.

Who are FLA members?
Members include banks and their subsidiaries, the finance arms of leading retailers and manufacturing companies, and a range of independent firms.

FLA members provided £118 billion of new finance in 2016, £88 billion of which was in the form of consumer credit, representing over a third of total new consumer credit written in the UK. This included £41 billion to support the purchase of new and used cars, including over 86% of private new car registrations.

£30 billion of finance was provided to businesses and the public sector to support investment in new equipment, representing almost a third of UK investment in machinery, equipment and purchased software in 2016.

A full list of our members can be found here.

What exactly is it that the FLA does?
Trade associations are founded and funded to represent the interests of businesses that operate in a specific sector.

In the case of the FLA, its understanding of industry issues covering asset, consumer and motor finance means we can communicate on behalf of our members and represent their interests to Government, regulators, European institutions, the media and the general public so as to improve the business environment.

On behalf of our members:

  • We actively lobby decision-makers both at home and in Europe in order to create the right regulatory environment for businesses and customers to thrive.
  • We strive to be the definitive centre of competence and influence on key industry issues, as well as a forum for the exchange of thoughts and ideas.
  • We review, advise and take appropriate action on legal, fiscal, economic and financial developments as they affect members.
  • We keep our members up-to-date with legal and regulatory changes and provide guidance and advice on how to comply with them.
  • We hold regular conferences, seminars and roundtables for members on key topical issues, as well as running training courses.

How is the FLA involved with Government?
The FLA works with regulators and Government departments to develop the best possible business environment for our members and their customers. The FLA discusses proposed consultations with its members to provide a single response on behalf of the members affected. The FLA’s formal responses to recent consultations can be found here.

How is the FLA involved in Europe?
We have very close connections with our European umbrella trade federations, Leaseurope and Eurofinas, which provide an additional service to our members by allowing the comparison of leasing and consumer credit markets across Europe. The FLA also contributes to the development and production of independent research carried out by these federations to support lobbying efforts at European level.

What are consultations?
The Government or FCA will consult before bringing in new rules or regulations. This involves setting out their proposals for the affected sectors, and giving stakeholders the opportunity to comment. The FLA makes sure that our members’ views are heard by the UK and European policymakers and regulators who shape the business environment in which they operate. A record of the FLA’s responses to recent formal consultation papers can be found within each divisional page. Asset Finance consultation are located here. Consumer Finance consultation papers are located here.  Motor Finance consultations are located here.

COMPANY INFORMATION

How is the FLA funded?
We are funded by member subscriptions and our commercial activities.

How many members does the FLA have?
As of May 2017, the FLA had 224 members.

What kind of corporate structure do you have?
Our Board sets all policy, but day-to-day decisions and staff management are the responsibility of our Senior Management Team.

Who are the FLA’s stakeholders?
Association of British Insurers (ABI)
Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
Bacs
Bank of England
British Business Bank (BBB)
British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)
British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA)
Cabinet Office
Citizens Advice
Civil Justice Council
Companies House
Confederation of British Industry (CBI)
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Department for Communities & Local Government
Department for Education
Department for Exiting the European Union
Department for Transport
Department for Work & Pensions
Department of Energy & Climate Change
Department of Health
DG Competition (COMP)
DG Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (FISMA)
DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (GROW)
DG Justice and Consumers (JUST)
Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)
Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)
Eurofinas
European Banking Authority
European Council of Ministers
European Court of Justice
European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG)
European Parliament
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
Financial Conduct Authority
Financial Ombudsman Service
Financial Reporting Advisory Board
Financial Reporting Council
Financial Stability Board
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
HM Treasury
Home Office
House of Commons
House of Lords
IFRS Foundation
Information Commissioner’s Office
Insolvency Service
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
Institute of Directors
International Accounting Standards Board
Joint Money Laundering Steering Group
Land Registry
Law Commission
Leaseurope
Local Enterprise Partnerships
Local Government Association
London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF)
Manufacturing Technologies Association
Mind
Ministry of Justice
Money Advice Service (MAS)
Money Advice Trust (MAT)
National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB)
National Association of School Business Management (NASBM)
National Fraud Intelligence Bureau
National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC)
National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS)
NHS Confederation
NHS Supply Chain
Registry Trust
Retail Motor Industry Federation
Select Committees
Shelter
Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT)
Steering Committee on Reciprocity (SCOR)
StepChange
The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI)
Trading Standards Institute
UK Finance
Which?

WHAT WE DO

ASSET FINANCE

What is asset finance?
Asset finance is a flexible alternative to a traditional bank loan, providing significant cash flow benefits for businesses looking to purchase a new piece of equipment, a vehicle or other fixed assets. This type of finance is used to obtain equipment through hire purchase or equipment leasing agreements.

What do we do in the asset finance sector?
In 2016, our members provided £30 billion of finance to the business sector and public services, representing almost a third of UK investment in machinery, equipment and purchased software in the UK last year.

Following extensive lobbying by the FLA, the Government included asset finance in its Funding for Lending, Regional Growth Fund and Business Finance Partnership schemes, all of which are aimed at improving the availability of credit for small and medium-sized businesses. The British Business Bank also recently confirmed it will establish an asset finance variant of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme.

What is the industry doing to protect its customers?
The Business Finance Code sets out the high standards that FLA members will meet when providing asset finance to businesses and the public sector. This includes trading fairly and responsibly with customers, and promoting the same high standards between intermediaries and customers.

CONSUMER FINANCE

What is consumer finance?
Consumer finance is a form of lending that provides credit to a consumer for personal or household use. It comes in many forms, and in terms of the FLA, our members provide finance through hire purchase, conditional sale and personal contract purchase plans, personal lease plans, secured and unsecured personal loans, credit cards, store instalment credit and store cards.

What do we do in the consumer finance sector?
In 2016, FLA members provided £88 billion to consumers to support purchases ranging from cars to household goods, accounting for over a third of total new consumer credit written in the UK.

Consumer credit regulation moved to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in April 2014 and the FLA continues to work closely with the Government and FCA to make sure that the new system does not adversely affect the credit market, and that consumers can continue to access affordable and responsibly-provided credit.

What types of consumer credit do FLA members offer?
FLA members offer a wide variety of consumer credit including:

  • Secured Loans are personal loans that are secured against a customer’s assets, for example, a second charge mortgage. The benefit of secured finance for customers is that, because of the reduced risks, lenders are able to offer more flexible terms and conditions.
  • Unsecured loans are personal loans where the lender does not have any rights over their customer’s assets. These loans include bank overdrafts, store cards and credit cards.
  • Credit cards and store cards offer consumers a very flexible and convenient way of accessing credit, with the option to pay the lender back immediately or over time.
  • Store instalment credit is typically used to purchase electrical goods, furniture and furnishings. Payments are usually monthly, and may be interest free or offer a buy now, pay later option.

What is the industry doing to protect consumers?
The FLA’s Lending Code sets out standards in consumer lending and is intended to assure borrowers that they will be treated fairly in their dealings with our members – all of whom are bound by the Code.

We also run a complaints scheme for customers who feel that their lender may have breached the Code.

In the motor division, our members invest heavily in compliance and training, including the
Specialist Automotive Finance  (SAF) initiative, which seeks to raise the understanding of motor finance products among dealership sales staff. Over 32,000 staff took the test in the past year. SAF members also funded a re-style of our Financing Your Car website, an impartial resource for anyone who wants to read up on the products available before visiting the showroom

What is the FLA Lending code?
The FLA’s Lending Code sets out standards of good practice for the consumer finance industry. It is intended to reassure anyone who applies for finance from FLA members that they are doing business with a reputable organisation. The code has been helping to resolve consumer complaints since 1992, and an updated version was approved at the FLA’s AGM in 2017.

MOTOR FINANCE

What is motor finance?
Motor finance helps to spread the cost of a new or used car. Instead of paying the full amount upfront, customers pay monthly. Most showrooms offer a range of finance products to suit individual preferences and circumstances, such as Hire Purchase, Conditional Sale, Personal Contract Purchase, and Lease Purchase.

What do we do in the motor finance sector?
Members provided £41 billion of new finance to help households and businesses purchase cars in 2016, including for over 86% of all private new car registrations in the UK.

In 2007, the FLA introduced Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) which aims to raise professional standards and improve the knowledge of dealership staff involved in selling motor finance. We also have an online impartial guide to car finance www.financingyourcar.org.uk to help consumers understand the different motor finance options available to them.

In 2016, we won Government approval to develop a Motor Finance Specialist apprenticeship standard, which will highlight the skills and knowledge required by employers in this sector. The apprenticeship will launch in the second half of 2017.

What finance options are available when buying from motor dealerships?
Hire purchase (HP)
is one of the most common methods of funding a car purchase. It is exactly what it sounds like – a hire agreement which gives the customer the option of owning the car at the end of the term. These are normally fixed cost, meaning that the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is set before the contract begins. The loan period is also fixed – typically three to four years – and the finance agreement is secured against the car being bought, which means that lenders can be flexible in the terms and conditions they offer.
Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) is a variation of a Hire Purchase agreement. The key difference is that the value of the car at the end of the contract is calculated at the start of the agreement. This is usually referred to as the Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV) and is based on a number of factors, including how old the car will be at the end of the agreement and how many miles it is expected to have covered. Deferring the GMFV to the end of the agreement means that your regular monthly payments are lower than those on a comparable HP agreement over the same term. A PCP agreement also gives you the flexibility to decide whether you would like to own the car outright at the end of the agreement by paying the deferred value (GMFV), or returning the car to the lender and entering into a new car finance agreement.
Lease Purchase is a form of conditional sale agreement, which means that the regular payments are similar to a lease/rental agreement but you will own the car at the end of the deal. You may be asked to make a number of monthly payments at the start of your agreement (referred to as ‘advance payments’ and the leasing equivalent of a deposit) and a further sum is usually deferred to the end of the deal – depending on the age and mileage of the car at the end of the agreement. The difference between a lease purchase and a PCP agreement is that the deferred sum (referred to as a Guaranteed Minimum Future Value (GMFV) in a PCP deal) must be paid on a lease purchase agreement. On a PCP, it’s optional.

For more information visit: www.financingyourcar.org.uk

FOR CONSUMERS

What is our role when dealing with complaints?
The FLA can only consider complaints against FLA members in connection with breaches of the FLA Lending Code.  For further information please see our consumer information pages here.

How do I make a complaint about an FLA member?
Full information about how to make a complaint can be found on our consumer information pages here.