Bluestone Leasing sign the Women In Finance Charter


Bluestone Leasing are delighted to announce that we have signed the Women in Finance Charter, one of the first asset finance brokers in the UK to do so.  This represents our unwavering commitment to gender diversity at all levels of our business.

By signing up, organisations pledge to promote gender diversity by:

  • Having one member of our senior executive team who is responsible and accountable for gender diversity and inclusion
  • Setting internal targets for gender diversity in our senior management
  • Publishing progress annually against these targets in reports on our website
  • Having an intention to ensure the pay of the senior executive team is linked to delivery against these internal targets on gender diversity.

The gender balance at Bluestone Leasing is already excellent, something we are very proud of, however we recognise there is still a long way to go in our industry in general.  By signing up to the Women in Finance Charter we are committing to continuing with our efforts whilst helping to drive awareness of the need to address the unequal gender balance across our industry.

“We are proud to already have a diverse team, by signing up to the Women in Finance Charter we are demonstrating our commitment to continue what we are doing and to promote best practice across our industry.  We firmly believe that having a diversity of people and ideas within our company is good for business – it’s good for our partners and clients and it’s good for our workplace culture.”

Vineesh Madaan, Managing Director

You can find out more about this HMRC initiative by visiting:

SME Finance: How difficult can it be?

SME Finance Blog

With 5.6M SMEs (firms with 0-249 employees) in the UK, representing 99.9% of all businesses, employing 24.3m people and delivering 51% (£1.9 trillion) of gross turnover, the importance of SMEs to our economy cannot be underestimated.

A recent Federation of Small Business (FSB) survey suggested that access to finance remains a key concern for small to medium size businesses in the UK with only one in eight seeking external finance. With over 50% of small businesses (50.4%) looking to expand in the next twelve months, despite ongoing economic uncertainty in the UK, the tension between these aspirations and access to finance is worth considering in more detail.

Strong survey data, such as the British Business Bank Business Finance Survey, seems to corroborate anecdotal evidence that business leaders and entrepreneurs do not consider fully, or at least are not aware of, their options when looking to grow or invest in their organisations. Outside of standard term bank loans, overdrafts and credit cards, most SMEs have limited awareness of other available products and, more worryingly, their access to and awareness of providers of such products is significantly lower still.


This is reflected in just how many SMEs still rely, almost exclusively, on their own bank for access to finance. A 2016 “SME Attitudes to Finance” survey by Wesleyan Bank demonstrated that 63% of SMEs would feel comfortable borrowing from their bank but this drops to 24% with regards to using an alternative finance provider. Around 80% of bank applications are successful (although this drops to just 50% for first time applicants) but that still leaves about 80,000 failed applications each year and a funding gap of £3.2bn in the UK. In this context, it is perhaps understandable why so many economists regard this gap in funding as a major brake on prospects for SME growth in the UK.

It has been suggested that perceived difficulties in securing alternative finance is also at play in the minds of SME leaders. Again, the evidence seems to support this with the British Business Bank survey reporting that 56% of SMEs described their perception of obtaining external finance as ‘difficult’. It is reasonable to assume that demand for alternative finance is artificially suppressed amongst these businesses with a subsequent impact on SME opportunity for growth or assistance with cash flow.

Fortunately, the reality is much more positive than the perception and, for those prepared to investigate options other than their bank, there are some real opportunities to reduce their reliance on their primary funder and to access exciting alternatives often on much better commercial terms than their bank can offer. But where to start?


As a starting point, my advice to any SME is to find an expert and specialist finance partner to work with. Often, for investments, manufacturers and suppliers will be able to recommend potential providers whilst industry bodies like the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) can help too.

Look for a partner that is well established in their field and financially strong –good indications that they have the experience, systems and skills you should be looking for. Make sure that they are fully accredited – The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) took over from the Office of Fair Trading back in 2014 and they operate a robust permissions system which all credible players will have in full. Be wary of operators acting as agents of others and not actually having full FCA permissions in their own right.

It is increasingly important to make sure that the provider can offer a true “whole of market” approach and is entirely independent. Although most companies in the field run their “own book” (where they provide the finance rather than a third party institution) this should not be artificially promoted and should be balanced by an extensive and broad funding panel. For instance, in our case, our own book accounts for less than 5% of the overall business we write, good evidence that our solutions are driven by the client need and not ours. Meanwhile our funding panel is approaching 60 banks/funders of which over two thirds are not directly accessible by UK businesses. Look for a partner who can offer you this level of true added value.

For asset finance, choose a partner that can demonstrate a broad base of assets that they can support and knowledge of your industry or sector. For example, we have specialist divisions such as technology (where we even fund 100% software projects), interiors (financing the entire costs of fit out including labour and fees) and Health & Fitness (everything from gyms through to medical equipment).

Ideally, look for a range of debt finance solutions (such as asset finance, cash flow finance, VAT/tax loans, bridging finance etc.) from your chosen partner as the relationship you are forming should be one that will last for the long term. Ideally your partner should be able to support you with different facilities as the needs of your business develop and change over time. Flexibility might not seem so important at first when you have a specific need in mind, but it will be at some point.


Last, but not least, make sure you can work with them. Trust is important in all business relationships but never more so than when dealing with finance. Do they take time and effort to get to know you, to understand your business and make sure they maximise the chances of securing the facility you need? If it’s just about the numbers (or worse still just the dreaded online portal), think carefully if this is really what you are looking for.

Although success can never be guaranteed, spending a little time to get the right partner will absolutely make a difference. We are really proud that over 92% of applications that we propose are successful and, over the last 23 years, we have secured facilities that have helped over 10,000 UK SMEs protect their cash flow and achieve their growth aspirations. For our SMEs, securing finance through alternative funders other than their bank is pain-free, speedy and on the best terms available in the market.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you, we’d love to hear from you.

01924 248800

WLTP – What does it mean?


WLTP stands for Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (trips off the tongue right?!) and is a new global regulation test for measuring the level of air pollutant, CO2 emissions and energy consumption in light duty vehicles – cars and vans to you and me.

It applies to all petrol, diesel, electric and hybrid vehicles and replaces the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) test that has been in place for the last 20+ years. After recent huge criticism of NEDC (remember diesel-gate?) and manufacturers accused of misstating emissions figures and misleading customers, authorities needed to react to restore faith in the system. To underscore that point, it is believed that most cars on sale and on the roads in the UK today do not meet their claimed fuel economy figures by as much as 25% or more.

WLTP tests are carried out in a laboratory which helps to ensure accuracy and repeatability and introduces much more representative testing conditions based on data from “real driving” which will provide a more accurate basis for measuring emissions and calculating a vehicle’s fuel consumption, providing more detailed and realistic vehicle performance data.


The WLTP tests place more emphasis on the mass and aerodynamics of the vehicle, the rolling resistance of the tyres and the options fitted to the car including alloy wheels, tyres, panoramic roofs, towbars, roof bars, active cruise control, air conditioning and autonomous emergency braking.  This means that a vehicle’s CO2 value can only be finally determined once options have been chosen, even for the same model of car. 

So, testing will become more accurate and as a consumer you will be better informed – so far so good right? Maybe, but there are a couple of key things that you should be aware of.

Firstly, all new vehicles MUST be compliant with the new regulations by 1 September 2018.  So what?

Although manufacturers have been aware for a long time of these changes coming in, many are simply not ready and certainly won’t be come the beginning of September this year.

After the 1st September, the manufacturers legally cannot sell the non-compliant vehicles they have in stock and could actually find themselves in the situation that they may have to scrap them.

If you are in the market for a new vehicle or vehicles over the next few weeks, you could be in line for some amazing deals as manufacturers rush to offload vehicles before the deadline. Watch this space…

So far so good?  That depends.  If you currently drive a company car then a key date for you will be 6th April 2020. This is when the government will be using the results from WLTP testing to calculate new Benefit In Kind (BiK) figures for company car drivers in the UK. Remember the CO2 emissions of your vehicle are a key component of this calculation. Essentially – the higher your CO2 emissions, the more you will be taxed for your company car based on your tax rate and the cost of the car itself.

So, driving the same car that you have been driving up to 6th April 2020, you could find yourself paying a significant amount more in company car tax after this point.


As with all these things, GDPR, the millennium bug (for those that remember that!), the key message is don’t panic!  The main thing is to make sure that you are making an informed decision about what you are doing now and how this could change in the future.

We’re here to provide you with all the information you need to make the right decision for you and your business. If you’d like to talk to our expert team about your individual circumstances or to get more detailed information on how WLTP might affect you, simply click here or call 01924 790660 or visit


Bluestone Leasing Gains Cyber Essentials Certification

Bluestone Leasing are delighted to announce that we have gained Cyber Essentials accreditation as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to cyber security best practice and assurance

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common online threats and requires companies to implement five technical control themes:

·         Firewalls

·         Secure configuration

·         User access control

·         Malware protection

·         Patch management

“How organisations look after the data they handle has never been more in the spotlight. We are committed to having the very highest standards across our business and achieving the Cyber Essentials accreditation demonstrates this. Being independently audited to the highest standards gives our partners and customers total confidence and reaffirms why they choose to work with us.”

Vineesh Madaan, Managing Director at Bluestone Leasing


Clerkenwell Design Week

Set across three days 22-24 May 2018, Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) returns for its ninth edition, hosting the best in design from the UK and beyond, and featuring a wide range of talent from the area from young entrepreneurial start-ups to well established design practices.  As the annual focus for London’s leading design district, the festival programme has been tailored to reflect the unique nature of this vibrant London hub, home to a plethora of creative businesses, design consultancies, showrooms and architectural practices.

2018 will again play host to hundreds of fringe events, showroom presentations, workshops, talks and public-facing installations all with design at their heart.  Events run over three days and follow a distinct trail north to south from Spa Fields down to Farringdon linking together several exhibition spaces and a series of specially commissioned installations. 

Each year, Clerkenwell Design Week displays new projects and commissioned installations located within high profile spaces across Clerkenwell.  Working with leading names in design, engineering and architecture, these projects aim to bring spectacle and energy to the district whilst pushing the boundaries of design concepts, process and material capabilities.  This year, sustainability is a key theme with several participants and projects addressing this trend.

Integral to the festival are the local resident design showrooms, many of whom partner with CDW, providing an array of stimulating events from talks and workshops to major installations.  Over 90 companies will be participating in CDW 2018, including high-end furniture, lighting, kitchen and bathroom brands alongside specialist manufacturers.

Our Interiors team will be attending CDW every day, to be in with a chance of winning a bottle of champagne, just hand any of them your business card to be entered into a draw – one lucky winner will also win a wine tasting experience!  We are looking forward to seeing existing and new partners.


Funding for Technology


You and your products are at the cutting edge – innovative, pioneering and new.  So are our finance solutions.

For nearly 22 years we have specialised in financing technology projects of all shapes and sizes. Remember we finance orders from as little as £1,000 up to large, multi-million pound projects for UK organisations and, often, their overseas sites too. Over that time we have built the largest, specialist funding panel in the UK with over two thirds of our 45 banking partners not accessible directly by your customers.

With their support, we can bundle all the costs involved (hardware, software, support and services) into one low, fixed amount every month meaning your clients can benefit from the very latest equipment and solutions, both now and in the future.

Don’t forget 100% software projects are a speciality for us – from one year license renewals through to agreements spanning 3-5 years. Larger projects often benefit from our residual value (RV) product which keeps repayments really low and offers lots of flexibility to the client at the end of the agreement.

Study While You Work at Bluestone

Amy McGarry is one of three employees at Bluestone Leasing undertaking an apprenticeship with Damar Training.

Having just completed her level three BTec diploma in business administration Amy took some time out of her work and studies to tell us about her course and why she chose to study alongside working.

Amy McGarry

“I made the decision to move onto level three of my apprenticeship shortly after completing level two, having enjoyed the modules I completed in levels one and two and seeing how they improved my work on a day to day basis it seemed like the perfect way to continue my progression at Bluestone Leasing.”

“This course involved 13 modules made up of four written exams and nine pieces of coursework as well as on the job observations and discussions between course tutors and my colleagues here at Bluestone. I was also required to create a portfolio of work undertaken in the office with annotations on the changes I made to processes and documents based on my learnings.

The course has focused my mind on best practices, task management and prioritising my workload. I have found that my confidence has increased as I have completed my level three studies which has allowed me to speak up more and put my opinions forwards, which is something I wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing in the past.

One task that particularly helped with my confidence was presenting to my colleagues and delegates; I was asked to deliver a presentation around the modules I was studying and the changes I have and would like to make to certain processes at Bluestone Leasing. As the topic was something I was comfortable and confident talking about it took the initial nerves away and allowed me to focus on my delivery rather than the content of my presentation.

Standing up and presenting in front of people was a big hurdle for me to overcome and since completing the task this is something I would be comfortable doing again, both in one on one situations and in larger groups.

The apprenticeship has led to me having increased responsibility at work with my role having progressed through three different phases as my knowledge has increased. With my level three modules completed I am now managing the running of our brand new office building in Wakefield, looking after everything from stock management, alarm system maintenance and contractor hire. This has again given me a huge boost in confidence as knowing that Bluestone Leasing has so much faith in me gives me the confidence to excel in this new role with the aim of progressing my career here and taking on more and more responsibilities with every passing month”