Commercial Finance Association Quarterly Asset-Based Lending Index Finds More U.S. Businesses Sought Credit in 4th Quarter of 2011

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Survey of leading asset-based lenders reveals significant increase in new credit commitments to U.S. businesses.

The Commercial Finance Association (CFA) today released its Quarterly Asset Based Lending Index for the 4th Quarter of 2011. The index, based on data provided by the Association’s 22 largest asset-based lenders, reveals a sharp rise in new lending and healthier portfolios for lenders.

The survey results indicate that more U.S. businesses are seeking capital. CFA members surveyed reported that new credit commitments originated in the 4th Quarter of 2011 were 8.4% higher than the 3rd Quarter and 18.4% higher than were reported in the 4th Quarter of 2010.

Further evidence that U.S. business are in need of more financing can be seen in the 4Q ABL Index’s finding that total asset-based credit commitments rose by 3.2% in the 4th Quarter, compared to the previous quarter, with 76% of responding lenders reporting an increase in total committed credit lines.

“The considerable growth in new credit commitments in the fourth quarter is another encouraging sign that businesses are growing more confident about the economy and seeking capital to meet their needs,” said CFA Chief Operating Officer Brian Cove. “As we have maintained throughout the recession and credit crisis, and the ensuing recovery, the asset-based lenders and factors that comprise the CFA membership will continue to lead the way as a primary source of working and growth capital for U.S. businesses as the economy continues to move in a positive direction,“ added Cove.

Businesses in need of financing are encouraged to utilize the CFA’s free online service, “Find a Lender,” by visiting http://www.cfa.com.

In another indication that the commercial lending environment is improving, the Index found that 43% of respondents reported a decrease in net write-offs in the 4th Quarter, compared to 28% in the 3rd Quarter. Only 9% of lenders reported an increase in net write-offs. Gross write-offs as a percentage of total outstandings also declined in the 4th Quarter, falling well below 100 basis points.

The Quarterly Asset-Based Lending Index was conducted by R.S. Carmichael & Co., an independent market research firm, to measure business growth, credit commitment, credit line utilization and portfolio performance of the 22 largest CFA members engaged in asset-based lending. The survey was commissioned by the Commercial Finance Association. For a full copy of the survey, please contact Brian Cove at (212) 792-9390 or bcove(at)cfa(dot)com.

About CFA
Founded in 1944, the Commercial Finance Association is the trade group of the asset-based financial services industry, with nearly 300 member organizations throughout the U.S., Canada and around the world. Members include the asset-based lending arms of domestic and foreign commercial banks, small and large independent finance companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, floor plan financing organizations, factoring organizations and financing subsidiaries of major industrial corporations.

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Brian Cove
Commercial Finance Association
(212) 792-9390
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