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ELFA Survey of Equipment Finance Activity Reports Overall New Business Volume Grew 9.3% in 2013

July 7, 2014

WASHINGTON, July 7 -- The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association issued the following news release:

New business volume grew 9.3% in the equipment finance industry in 2013, according to the 2014 Survey of Equipment Finance Activity (SEFA) released today by the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. The growth in volume was down from the 16.4% increase reported for 2012 and the 16.5% increased reported for 2011, but well above the 3.9% increase reported for 2010 and the 30.3% decline in 2009. The SEFA, which is based on responses from 109 ELFA member companies, covers key statistical, financial and operations information for the $827 billion equipment finance industry. The report, as well as an infographic and two videos highlighting the key findings, is available at

ELFA also released a companion report to the 2014 SEFA called the 2014 Small-Ticket Survey of Equipment Finance Activity. The report, which focuses on small-ticket and micro-ticket equipment transactions among the SEFA respondents, found that new business volume in the small-ticket space grew by 10.2% in 2013.

"We are pleased to present the 2014 SEFA and the 2014 Small-Ticket SEFA, which provide comprehensive performance metrics for the $827 billion equipment finance industry," said William G. Sutton, CAE, ELFA President and CEO. "The data show the equipment finance sector continued to gain momentum as the economy improved in 2013. More recent data collected in 2014 indicate that growth is continuing amid a slow economic recovery, at a more tempered rate."

Survey highlights:

Key findings for 2013 as reported in the 2014 SEFA include:

* Overall new business volume grew 9.3%.

- By market segment: All market segments showed growth in volume, except for the smallest segment. New business volume fell 5.9% for the micro-ticket segment but grew 14.3% for the small-ticket segment, 8.5% for the middle-ticket segment and 6.8% for the large-ticket segment.

- By organization type: After lagging for several years, independent equipment finance organizations led the industry in new business volume growth rates. Independents saw the strongest increase in new business volume (17.7%), while captives saw their volume grow by 11.3% and banks saw a 6.2% increase.

* From an asset perspective, the top-five most-financed equipment types were transportation, computer equipment, agricultural, construction and medical equipment. The top five end-user industries representing the largest share of new business volume were services, agriculture, transportation, industrial/manufacturing and wholesale/retail.

* Delinquencies remained steady between 2012 and 2013. Full-year losses or charge-offs also fell well below 1.0% overall.

* Credit approvals increased, and the percentage of those approved applications being booked and funded remained steady.

* Employment levels grew by 2%, with headcount in sales and marketing increasing, while all servicing and collections categories lost headcount.

* Given the current financial markets, cost of funds continued to decline. However, competitive pressure drove pre-tax spreads still lower in 2013 compared to previous years, to 3%, its lowest level in five years.

* Assets under management grew between 2012 and 2013. Return on assets dropped slightly in 2013 but remained healthy at 1.7%.

* Net income remained steady between 2012 and 2013 in dollar terms. Return on average equity also remained healthy at 16.8%.

About the 2014 SEFA

The SEFA is the broadest compendium of data on the equipment finance industry, comprising a representative cross-section of equipment lease and loan origination by product, structure and origination. The report provides a baseline and benchmark for companies operating in the equipment finance space through a voluntary survey of ELFA member companies.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP administered the 2014 SEFA. The results were compiled from surveys sent to 325 eligible ELFA member companies in the first quarter of 2014. A total of 109 companies submitted 2013 U.S. domestic lease and loan data. The respondents include nine ELFA members in the 2013 Monitor Top 10 list of the largest U.S. equipment finance organizations and 63 ELFA members in the 2013 Monitor Top 100.

The data are presented by organization type (bank, captive, independent); market segment (micro-ticket, small-ticket, middle-ticket, large-ticket); organization size (under $50 million, $50-$250 million, $250 million-$1 billion, over $1 billion); and origination business model (direct, captive, vendor, third-party, mixed). For most categories, data is reported for the past two fiscal years, 2013 and 2012.

Equipment types financed, as explored in the survey, include agriculture, aircraft, construction, computers, office machines, telecommunications, rolling stock, printing, medical, industrial, trucks and trailers and other equipment types. Types of financing offered by the equipment finance companies include tax oriented leases & term loans, non tax oriented leases & term loans, off-balance sheet loans (synthetic leases), tax-exempt leases & loans (municipal and other transactions exempt from income tax) and others, including leveraged leases, discounted payment streams, revolving debt, equity and other investments.

About the 2014 Small-Ticket SEFA

The Small-Ticket SEFA is a companion report to the SEFA that focuses on respondents' small-ticket portfolios, including both micro-ticket (up to $25,000) and small-ticket ($25,000 to $250,000) transactions. Respondents were asked a separate set of questions pertaining only to their small-ticket operations, and the data are compiled in the companion report.

How to Access the SEFA

Participation in the SEFA is a benefit of membership in ELFA. Member-respondents receive a complimentary copy of the survey report, as well as confidential individual company data sheets, which show the individual company's statistics ranked against a peer group. Non-respondents may purchase the 2014 SEFA and the 2014 Small-Ticket SEFA from Members of the press may request a copy by contacting Amy Vogt at


New this year, ELFA has released an infographic summarizing key findings from the 2014 SEFA. The infographic is available for download from the ELFA website at (


Two new videos about the 2014 SEFA, featuring ELFA Research Committee Chair Raymond James and Carol Ann Fisher of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, are available at

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