Lease Financing

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INTRODUCTION
Financial Services basically mean all those kinds of services provided in financial terms where the essential commodity is money. These services include: leasing, hire purchase, consumer credit, investment banking, commercial banking, venture capital, insurance, credit rating, bill discounting, and mutual funds , stock broking, housing finance, vehicle finance, mortgages and car loans, factoring among other things. Various entities that provide these services are basically categorized into (a) Non –Banking Finance Companies

(b) Commercial Banks, and
(c) Merchant Banks.
Financial Services in India is too vast and varied too have evolved at one place and at one time. One of the main entities that offer financial services in India is Non-Banking Finance Companies. These NBFCs registered with Reserve Bank of India mainly perform fund based services to the customer. Fund based services of NBFCs include: leasing, hire-purchase and other asset based services whereas fee based services of NBFCs include bill discounting, portfolio management and other advisory services.

LEASE FINANCING
Leasing as financial service is a contractual agreement where the owner (lessor) of equipment transfers the right to use the equipment to the user (lessee) for an, agreed period of time in return for a rental. At the end of the lease period the asset reverts back to the lessor unless there is a provision for the renewal of the contract or there is a provision for the transfers of ownership to the lessee. If there is any such provision for transfer of ownership, the deal is treated as hire purchase. Therefore, a lease could be generally defined as – “A contract where a party being the owner (lessor) of an asset (leased asset) provides the asset for use by the lessee at a consideration (rentals), either fixed or dependent on any variables, for a certain period (lease period), either fixed or flexible, with an understanding that at the end of such period, the asset, subject to the embedded options of the lease, will be either returned to the lessor or disposed of as per the lessor's instructions”.

HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT OF LEASING
The history of leasing dates back to 200BC when Sumerians leased goods. Romans had developed a full body law relating to lease for movable and im movable property. However the modern concept of leasing appeared for the first time in 1877 when the Bell Telephone Company began renting telephones in USA. In 1832, Cottrell and Leonard leased academic caps, grown and hoods. Subsequently, during 1930s the Railway Industry used leasing service for its rolling stock needs. In the post war period, the American Air Lines leased their jet engines for most of the new air crafts. This development ignited immediate popularity for the lease and generated growth of leasing industry. The concept of financial leasing was pioneered in India during 1973. The Firs Company was set up by the Chidambaram group in 1973 in Madras. The company undertook leasing of industrial equipment as its main activity. The Twentieth century Leasing Company Limited was established in 1979. By 1981, four finance companies joined the fray. The performance of First Leasing Company Limited and the Twentieth Century Leasing Company Limited motivated others to enter the leasing industry. In 1980s financial institutions made entry into leasing business. Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation was the first all India financial institution to offer leasing in 1983. Entry of commercial banks into leasing was facilitated by an amendment of Banking Regulation Act, 1949. State Bank of India was the first commercial bank to set up a leasing subsidiary, SBI capital market, in October 1986. Can Bank Financial Services Ltd., BOB Financial Service Ltd., and PNB Financial Services Limited followed suit. Industrial Finance Corporation’s Merchant...
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