ING stops machinery leasing deals

ING Lease UK, which funds about £100m worth of farm equipment a year, will sign no new leasing deals with most of its customers after 30 November.

Existing customers will see no change and their agreements will continue as the book is run down over time, said Adrian Simpson, spokesperson for the UK business.

Changes in banking regulations, linked to how banks assess risk, were behind the move, as well as the depth and severity of the global recession, he said.

ING has decided to concentrate this type of business on what it sees as core market, including the Benelux countries. The decision is part of a worldwide restructuring that will see more than 2,000 job cuts in its insurance and banking divisions and in the UK, the recent announcement of the sale of its ING Direct UK retail banking division to Barclays.

ING Lease UK’s withdrawal from the market would affect agricultural customers, said Brian Richardson, chief executive officer of Carlisle-based H&H Group, whose business includes a finance division.

“It is disappointing to see another national finance business depart from the market at a time when business needs all the help it can get. Other lenders have also pulled back from lending and this is making an already difficult economic situation more difficult.”

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