While workforces up and down the country are facing deep budget cuts and job
losses, a survey by Lloyds TSB Autolease reveals that one in three finance
bosses have yet to cut back on their personal business expenses and benefits,
including company cars.
37% of financial decision makers polled by Lloyds TSB Autolease admit to taking
no action to reduce their personal business costs, despite economic and social
pressures to limit their expenses.
Claudia Rose, Corporate Sales Director at Lloyds TSB Autolease, says: “In a
climate of heavily scrutinised expenses, employee expenses and benefits have
become a major talking point with directors, employees and businesses now
needing to reduce their costs.
“But if one thing can be taken from the survey, it’s that there are potentially
enormous business savings to be made on personal expenses and benefits such as
business travel and company cars. Now is the opportunity to act.”
Indeed, just 1 in 10 bosses have taken a cheaper company car in an effort to
reduce their business expenditure and set an example to staff further down the
Claudia continues: “Pay and rewards are under the spotlight and while many
directors are reluctant to give up their favourite status symbol, company cars
are one of the single largest and easily addressed business costs.
“For example, boardroom favourites like BMW and Audi have taken giant leaps
forward on running costs, with some of the most fuel and tax efficient vehicles
around. The message is – directors don’t have to make the sacrifices they think
they do. It’s just about making sensible and responsible choices, which reflect
well on you and your business.”
Despite the opportunity to do more in the boardroom, the Autolease survey
reveals that almost a third of directors have downgraded their business travel
(16%) and accommodation (16%) in a step to beat the crunch.
Meanwhile, almost a quarter (23%) have taken a pay cut or freeze with just 8%
declining a bonus as part of their remuneration package.
Claudia says: “Clearly some concessions are being made to generate savings, but
it could be argued that taking a pay freeze or turning down a bonus is merely a
one off measure that won’t bring down costs over the longer term. They can even
be repaid at a later date when the social climate changes.
“Tackling other employee benefits, such as the cost of running company vehicles,
will invariably do more to help businesses large and small. Fuel is one of the
biggest and fastest rising company costs, so it makes sense to think hard about
implementing a low C02, fuel efficient car policy across the board for all
employees. The current economic climate provides an opportunity to realign
employee benefits, in particular company car policies to reduce costs”.