A lender which finances the purchase of JCB products in the UK has a billion reasons to celebrate – literally.

JCB Finance – one of the biggest lenders to the construction and agricultural industry in the UK – is celebrating the milestone news that total lending has reached an all-time high. For the first time in its history the amount currently being lent to fund the purchase of machines has broken through the £1 billion barrier.

And for the firm’s 100 employees it’s a real reason to celebrate because bosses have treated them to a weekend away for two to mark the milestone which comes 10 months before the company’s 50th anniversary.

JCB Finance was set up in February 1970 under the name JCB Credit and has expanded massively from humble beginnings with JCB Chairman Lord Bamford as one of its original Directors. Today JCB Finance provides hire purchase and leasing options for UK business customers and supports the JCB UK dealer network and has facilitated the purchase of more than 250,000 JCB machines over the past 49 years. Including money loaned to acquire other plant and vehicles, JCB Finance has lent more than £13 billion to UK businesses to help them grow and invest.

JCB Finance MD Paul Jennings said: “To reach £1 billion in balances is an amazing achievement which would not have been accomplished without a huge team effort. We are here to help JCB customers buy their equipment and this milestone is a measure of the hard work put in by everyone involved. It’s also a very good indicator that confidence levels in our sector remain resilient and as a measure of our success, it puts JCB Finance amongst the elite in our industry.”

JCB Chairman Lord Bamford said: “When JCB Finance was founded in 1970 JCB manufactured just over 4,000 machines and even then there was a very real need from our customers for help with finance. The growth of JCB Finance has mirrored the growth of JCB and our success is very much intertwined; JCB’s development and market leadership in the UK over many decades simply would not have been possible without JCB Finance. The team should be very proud of this achievement.”

Alan Wilson is a Director of the civil engineering, excavation and haulage business L & W Wilson (Endmoor) Ltd, a family firm which has used JCB Finance to purchase its JCB machines since the 1980s.

He said: “I congratulate JCB Finance on reaching such a tremendous milestone but such an achievement should come as no surprise. During the recession JCB Finance was one of the few companies that you could rely on to support your business. Then, when some customers weren’t paying on time, you needed to be able to raise finance to guarantee cash flow. The banks were reluctant to lend beyond what you had but JCB was prepared to refinance other plant so that we could raise cash at a competitive rate. Quite simply, JCB supported British business at a time when others would not.”