By Marcus Leach

Santander Corporate Banking has entered into a new partnership with Fleet Financial to provide car and van Contract Hire to small and medium sized businesses and corporate customers in Northern Ireland.

Under the new partnership, Santander will provide the vehicle finance, with Fleet Financial providing all other aspects of a high-quality, fully-integrated fleet management solution. The fully disclosed agency facility will result in Fleet Financial securing additional Contract Hire funding for customers, while also increasing Santander’s presence in Northern Ireland.

Santander Corporate Banking has a clear strategy and commitment to support Fleet Financial and businesses throughout Northern Ireland. It provides a full relationship banking service through its team of experienced corporate specialists based at its Belfast Corporate Business Centre

Philip Miley, Sales & Marketing Director at Fleet Financial, said: “We are delighted that Santander has chosen Fleet Financial as their sole partner in Northern Ireland. This is a strong endorsement for us and we are excited about the opportunities it creates for our new and existing customers alike. Santander has a strong business appetite and together we will grow this partnership to its full potential. This really gives local business a much-needed boost and opens up a new avenue for asset funding. A positive story for Northern Ireland PLC and one which we are extremely proud of.”

Hilary Armstrong, Relationship Director Santander’s Corporate Business Centre in Belfast, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Fleet Financial and strongly believe that our financial strength together with Fleet Financial’s specialist fleet service will prove very attractive to businesses. This agreement will benefit both brands and, most importantly, businesses in Northern Ireland. We look forward to further developing our relationship with Fleet Financial.

“The fleet market is currently facing significant issues, with some of the larger leasing companies rationalising their operations and capital constraints hindering a number of smaller independent companies. Therefore I believe the timing of our new Contract Hire partnership with Fleet Financial could not be better.”