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For a lifetime we have seen the banking sector supporting corporate organisations to the detriment of local small entrepreneurs. We saw the rise of the national chains in white goods retailing, sports clothing and the restaurant, coffee shop and license industries.

The local shop and restaurant owners and licensees have been pushed out and discouraged by high street rents and lack of banking support.

Now we see more and more corporates, who the banks have hung their hats on, falling over, but in spite of pressure from the government and the Bank of England the banks are still not or not able to assist the SME sector.

Encouragingly, as we know, the good will always survive and prosper! The brewery industry is changing rapidly thanks to the proliferation of independent local brewers whose products are readily available in pubs and bars across the country as well as all the supermarket shelves.

The local brewer now understands that the days of struggling to find sufficient support from high street banks are over. Now, like his industry, there is a major growth of asset funders ready to support the license trade and its suppliers as well as all the sectors of the SME market.

For 40 years the hospitality industry has used asset finance as their main source of funding. Now retail, gyms, the beauty and medical sector, manufacturing et al have come to realise that funding support, professionalism and speed comes from asset funders, not banks.

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

Jack certainly wouldn’t fit in at Armada. We believe in maximising the fun of working and certainly enjoying ourselves after hours.

With a number of rugby nuts, both playing and armchair enthusiasts, together with athletes, golfers and mountaineers we think our outside interests prevent stress at work and massively give us an excuse to down the black stuff.

Martin Fishleigh, our resident number cruncher is currently President of Bideford Rugby Club. We are expecting his red eyes and blurred speech to clear up later this year.

Many thanks and congratulations Martin for all your commitment to Bideford RFU and the rugby cause nationally.

Our pair of resident black swans are currently sunning themselves on the River Clyst, outside our offices. This pair have been keeping guard over us for several years and have previously presented us with a pair of cygnets. We have become quasi foster parents.

With Spring fast-approaching we are hoping that this year we will be fortunate to have more cygnets. We will keep you up-to-date with developments.

As mum & dad show no signs of leaving us we think it is high time they had names. Perhaps you could suggest suitable names for them. If cygnets do arrive we will have a competition to give them appropriate names.

To learn more about black swans contact RSPB Darts Farm, Topsham.

NEW businesses, new investment, new employment and new ideas are a lifeblood of a country and its economy and MUST be encouraged and supported. Virgin and Dyson were once newco’s.

For nearly 40 years Armada has CONSISTENTLY assisted start-up businesses wth asset finance. As the foremost supporter of new starts in the UK we and our experience are here to help ALL industries and finance all types of plant and equipment.

Our extensive website is invaluable to new entrepreneurs, brokers and advisers.

In an article in the March edition of Leasing Life, Patrick Beselaere, head of leasing at ING Bank, explains the reasoning behind the ING closure of its leasing operation in the UK and other European markets.

Put into a nut shell Mr Beselaere refers to the lack of capital in the banking sector causing ING and other banks to revert their concentration to core banking. He believes that bank owned lessors will be less dominant in the future.

A significant effect of the miss-management of banking policy worldwide has been the drying up of support and capital for SME markets. As the effect of banking withdrawal has affected jobs, town centres and consumer choices throughout the UK, is it not incumbent upon the banks to point the way to alternative lenders who are doing their best to fill the void?