Leasing still has untapped potential

Luc Williams

“Leasing, climate, economy” was the topic of the debate organized during the European Economic Congress.

– Leasing is widely used, but is often absent from discussions about investment financing. Meanwhile, in 2023 alone, assets worth PLN 102.5 billion were financed through leasing. Every second newly registered car in Poland is financed by leasing. Passenger vehicles account for 49 percent. our financing, and 22 percent trucks. We also finance machines and equipment, their share reaches 24%. Therefore, you can finance anything with leasing, emphasized Monika Constant, president of the Polish Leasing Association, opening the discussion.

She pointed out that at the end of 2023, the portfolio of movable property leasing contracts was worth approximately PLN 200 billion, and the portfolio of investment loans – approximately PLN 170 billion.

– Leasing is even more popular than credit, but not everyone is aware of it. For 62 percent for small and medium-sized companies, it is the basic source of financing. This shows the impact of leasing on the economy, she concluded.

– For 30 years, we have created a product that is very friendly to entrepreneurs – commented Krzysztof Kowalewski, vice-president of Santander Leasing and pointed out, among others: on availability and price competitiveness.

– Leasing companies, thanks to the fact that they own fixed assets, have very low risk costs – he pointed out.

– 30 percent investments in Poland can be financed by leasing, added Adam Sar, president of ING Lease.

The success of leasing is indisputable, over 30 years leasing companies have provided financing in the amount of PLN 1 billion, but it also encounters barriers. Monika Constant pointed to regulations. For example, a loan can be taken out remotely, while leasing requires a personal signature.

– We meet these demands. Today (May 8 – editor) the consultations on the act under my patronage ended, in which we amend and deregulate 35 acts. There are over 50 good regulations that make life easier for entrepreneurs. One of them is a change in the conclusion of a leasing contract. This will be possible remotely. It's not just about an electronic signature, a qualified signature, but confirmation by e-mail itself – said Mariusz Filipek, plenipotentiary for deregulation and economic dialogue at the Ministry of Development and Technology.

There are more inequalities when it comes to banks and leasing companies. During the discussion, for example, there was a postulate that leasing and credit procedures should be comparable, so that – as Krzysztof Kowalewski defined it – customers would not engage in a kind of procedural arbitration. He also drew attention to the issue of warranty.

– When guarantee programs are created, either at the national level, such as programs with the participation of BGK, or with the support of international institutions, leasing cannot be forgotten and effective solutions should be developed. For example, if there were to be any turbulence for industries or sectors, the leasing industry should have an instrument that would allow the financing not to be closed, he said.

Piotr Kamiński, treasurer, vice-president for finance of the Employers of Poland organization and member of the supervisory board of Wielton, a manufacturer of semi-trailers and trailers, drew attention to the situation in transport.

– Storms and storms are ahead of us. The market became deregulated, it began with the abolition of permits and restrictions for Ukrainian companies. Additionally, in the first quarter, transport weight in Poland decreased by 1.7%. – he said. He added that this is especially painful for small companies. He also pointed out that many means of transport in Poland are old and do not meet ecological standards.

– We have threats, but we also have goals related to the green transformation. It is worth analyzing what to do with these means of transport. Should we not use this threat that we have on the horizon to use the absolutely best transport financing product, leasing, to connect these puzzles? There is over EUR 350 million in the KPO for the green transformation, said Piotr Kamiński.

The topic of green transformation and leasing recurred in the discussion in the context of opportunities and challenges.

– We are the owners of assets and we feel responsible for helping clients prepare for transformation, said Monika Constant, and drew attention to the consequences of implementing the circular economy – it extends the life of assets.

– We see the role of leasing companies in creating a circular economy – said the president of ZPL.

The leasing industry is preparing to measure the carbon footprint of assets.

In this context, Adam Sar talked about an important problem and another example of how the leasing industry is sometimes forgotten. Of course, most of the cars are purchased through leasing.

– Let's assume we bought a car with a loan. The bank is obliged to report the car's carbon footprint in the part that is financed. If it was all funded, on average half of that footprint will be reported. The leasing industry is not covered by PCAF reporting, but by the GHG Protocol, and there the built-in footprint has to be reported at the beginning, then the entire emission throughout the entire period of ownership by the leasing company, and European solutions say that it may be necessary to add the operational footprint after the end of the lease. life cycle – said Adam Sar.

Andrzej Popielski, vice-president of PKO Leasing, drew attention to the leasing of machinery and equipment in the context of green transformation and opportunities.

– We should focus on this very strongly, these are real investments. It seems to me that the leasing of the future will not be leasing a car from a showroom, but will be devices that will serve to increase productivity and the entire green sphere, ESG, decarbonization, etc. We are only just starting to touch on this issue – said Andrzej Popielski, seeing opportunities in it.

The leasing industry is already involved in the green transformation, e.g. by financing renewable energy sources.

There is no doubt that leasing will play an important role in the use of European funds, which will partially intertwine with the green transformation.

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