Alliance & Leicester (A&L) will no
longer provide finance to independent contract hire
The British bank, which was acquired by Banco
Santander in October last year, has taken the decision to “cease
providing undisclosed agency contracts” following a review of its
services, in line with the business model already adopted by its
new parent company.

An A&L spokesperson explained: “We used to provide finance
to contract hire companies, which then offered fleet services to
individual businesses.

“But this meant the end-customer was receiving finance from
A&L without knowing we were the finance company, because they
were dealing with these middle-men who were effectively almost like

Going forward, A&L will follow Santander’s business model,
which favours “relationship-led banking”, and will therefore only
supply finance to contract hire and lease companies that are its
direct customers.

The company said it does not plan any major restructuring in the
UK, and will continue to focus on some specific sectors – in
particular commercial vehicles, coaches and buses.

It is also looking to offer asset finance to a wider range of
businesses, expanding its presence in the small and medium-sized

In the past three years, A&L Commercial Bank, which includes
its leasing arm, has given financial support to some 100,000 small