A leading analyst believes that opportunities for quoted companies to acquire cheap assets could be set to increase, as banks start to run out of patience with highly leveraged companies. Paul Hickman of Peel Hunt said: "It was perhaps surprising that there were not many more business casualties during the financial crisis 2008-09. “But with the consumer environment remaining tough, we wonder how many other highly leveraged companies are about to run out of time? “This could represent an opportunity for quoted companies (where balance sheets are generally robust) to pick up cheap assets.”