THE late-2000s global financial crisis left many of us with memories I doubt will disappear for a good few years to come. And it’s little wonder when we remind ourselves of the events that took place right before our eyes, most of which left us flabbergasted at their pure severity, and leaving us to question if it was really happening.
Who can forget the first bank run in more than 150 years? The same news was on countless TV channels and in the press, with reports about frantic customers rushing to queue up to remove their cash out of fear that the bank might not have any money left because every other customer was doing the same.
And who would have thought that a 150-year-old US investment bank (which was the fourth largest at the time) would be declaring for bankruptcy, with the consequences resulting in an ever-increasing volatile financial market and the domino effect rippling down to markets and businesses that impacted on our very own marketplace.
You may have remembered receiving the telephone call from your finance company account manager to advise you that the finance company they worked for was retreating from the marketplace, as either they were not in a position to obtain any new funding arrangements from investors or their business was ceasing to exist after a small exit period of processing pipeline business.
At the same time you may recall how, following the news that some of your lenders were no longer going to be present, you quickly assessed what was left and searched for new providers in an attempt to continue to cater for a wide range of customers and ultimately keep your sales at the previous levels.
What we have witnessed over the past 12 months – and particularly more so over recent months – is the reintroduction into the dealer market of some finance companies that previously resided there, combined with some new entrants, along with various comments and press releases on how many million pounds they are expected to pour into the market.
In the short term you may think this is good news, and to some degree it is to you as a business, as you will have more options available to you and your customers, which should see you selling more cars to your customers. However, I believe you should be erring on the side of caution and choosing your business partners extremely carefully, as there are lots of other external factors that make our marketplace a little bit more turbulent than how it seems on the surface.
As 2015 starts to gain more momentum, make sure you put your eggs in the basket that has the most stability, treats your customers correctly, and is likely to have longevity and be here tomorrow to support you.
I think I might just be able to recommend the right one to you…
Who is Jonathan Such?
Such is head of sales for First Response Finance. You can contact him on 07917 781608 or email [email protected]