Equipment Finance – the first signs of a credit ‘thaw’

In the early days of the GFC, many second-tier finance companies in Australia pulled back and quit lending. That left the majors with the ability to tighten credit terms, to increase margins, and to knock back all but the most solid applications. They’re still doing it, but the pendulum is showing the first signs of swinging back.

The market has absorbed a few issues of securitisation of residential property mortgages, but it’s more relevant to those of us with the need to finance equipment that the likes of Capital Finance, GE Capital, and Bank of Queensland are back with renewed interest in motor vehicle finance. That will hopefully extend to other assets soon.

In the meantime, deals for Medical Equipment Finance are still getting done, albeit slowly, because credit managers are still looking for reasons to deny applications.

Commercial Property Finance

While Medical Equipment Finance is our primary focus, we have found a non-bank source of funds for Commercial Property Finance. The rates, terms, and conditions are miles better than our local institutions, and interest in this product/service is strong. Equipment can be financed with this source, but it must be bundled with a significant commercial property facility, preferably over $5MM.

Owners and Developers of Medical Centres, Day Surgeries, and Private Hospitals are among those who could save big bucks and avoid the restrictive conditions imposed by traditional funding sources.

Advantages of Using a Finance Broker

You probably already have an existing relationship with a bank, so they are your likely first call when looking for Medical Equipment Finance. But, your bank’s appetite for Asset Finance may not be as strong as others, and getting the best deal among the various sources can be quite time-consuming. This is because lenders are constantly adjusting their ‘book’ to control their exposure to risk. A good current example is Westpac’s relatively high standard variable rate for home loans. They obviously decided that they had become ‘overweight’ in that asset class.

In addition to the time required, shopping around also implies that you have the inclination to deal with the banks. Many of our clients have neither, so we save them the time and trouble and provide the following additional benefits:

  • The services of those who know the Healthcare Industry well;
  • The services of those who will always put your interests first; and
  • The services of those who constantly monitor the fluctuating appetites of all the bank, not just one.

Furthermore, one of the more frustrating things that occur with many of our clients is the turnover of relationship managers at all the banks.  Clients often find that they have to repeatedly start over by explaining their business and requirements.  One even complained that her relationship manager was so unresponsive that she wants to change banks, so we’re helping her do just that.  You can avoid the risk of all such frustrations by allowing a good broker to act on your behalf.