A quarter of Asset Finance Brokers keep loan calculations ‘Old Skool’ with an HP-12C

A quarter of Asset Finance Brokers keep loan calculations ‘Old Skool’ with an HP-12C

Nearly a quarter of Asset Finance Brokers continue to use a 35 year old gadget to help them calculate and structure deals, a recent survey from United Trust Bank has found.

Despite the seemingly unstoppable advance of touchscreen smartphones and tablets with a myriad of financial applications (apps) available, 24% of brokers who responded to the survey still use the legendary HP-12C most often, with a further 17% using another type of electronic calculator. The most frequently used tools were funders’ calculators. The survey asked:

There are various tools available to help asset finance professionals structure deals. Which of the following would you say you use most often?

  Funders’ Calculators HP12C Another type of electronic calculator A smartphone app Ipad/tablet app Other
Percent 35 24 17 11 9 4


The HP-12C Programmable Financial Pocket Calculator was first introduced in 1981 and is still sold today. It is Hewlett Packard’s longest and best-selling product and the newest model retails for around £65.00. Although it has undergone several hardware and software upgrades in the past 35 years, it retains the same basic functionality, 10 digit LCD display and 80s styling that have made it an iconic tool for millions of finance professionals around the world.

Commenting on the research, United Trust Bank’s Head of Asset Finance, Martin Nixon, said:

“Like nearly a quarter of the brokers who took part in the survey, I’m never without my trusty HP-12C and both my colleague Keith Sangwin and I have relied on it pretty much since its launch over 30 years ago. At that time, when I first started in the Asset Finance industry, it was the ‘must have’ piece of kit for any serious finance professional. Although some younger colleagues who are used to more intuitive gadgets like iPhones and iPads find it archaic, I can work out more structured deals much more quickly on my HP-12C than on anything else. Although this may say more about Keith and I than the effectiveness of the HP-12C!

“The enduring popularity of the HP-12C is probably a good indication of the average age of brokers working in asset finance and is a reminder that as an industry we need to keep encouraging younger people to consider Asset Finance as an interesting and rewarding career, be it on the broker or funder side of the industry.”