Category Archives: Uncategorized

Association responds to Daily Mail falsehoods

 

The Association noted with interest the article published in Tuesday’s Daily Mail, regarding firms struggling to secure emergency loans under the CBILS initiative being warned to ‘steer clear’ of brokers charging to ‘fast track’ CBILS applications.

We wish to highlight that the article includes several statements that are not true.

  1. The NACFB does not condone our Members charging upfront commitment fees that are non- refundable
  2. The NACFB does not recommend a 3% fee for CBILS facilities, or indeed for other facilities
  3. The NACFB has issued clear guidance to our Members prior to this report that it is not appropriate to profiteer from the COVID-19 pandemic

We made an official statement to the journalist on Monday, which also clarified these points, but he elected not to use any of our comments in their sensationalist report.

The reality of the situation is that many small businesses are not equipped to provide the detailed information the vast majority of CBILS providers request in order to provide funding. These small businesses need the services of professional advisors in order to access CBILS. Some may choose to pay an accountant to assist but many ask for assistance from their financial intermediary.

The NACFB expects all Members to charge what would, upon detailed scrutiny, be adjudged by ‘a reasonable person’ as fair and justifiable; in both the context of the crisis itself and the nature, size and complexity of any case submitted to lenders under CBILS. The Association also advises that each Member retains evidence of the work they have undertaken, should their fees ever be challenged in the future.

The Association has a clear Code of Conduct, and a rigorous independent complaints procedure.  Any Member reported to be acting inappropriately will be investigated and the NACFB will take appropriate action based on the results of that investigation. We are not the market regulator but do hold our Members to account for complying with our professional Code of Conduct.

Regarding the ‘fast tracking’ of applications, the Association does not condone financial promotions that are factually incorrect or cannot be substantiated. However, certain Members do have the ability to circumvent some funders’ standard processing channels potentially saving time. Again, any complaint in relation to incorrect promotional statements would be investigated and dealt with.

Of course, our Members operate in a free, competitive market environment and are required to provide the customer with the information they need to make an informed decision. Any customer can choose to accept or decline the terms of business presented by a broker and can go elsewhere for professional advice if they choose. 

As a long-standing partner of the British Business Bank, the NACFB has enjoyed an active and constructive dialogue, providing frontline feedback that has helped to steer the CBILS initiative. This has resulted in the implementation of measures that have increased market liquidity.

We look forward to maintaining this dialogue but wish to do so with the role of the intermediary still viewed as both a viable and legitimate route to market.

 

 

NACFB release guidelines for broker fees in relation to CBILS applications

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Association outlines regulatory and moral obligations for Member brokers

 

The NACFB is acutely aware that, whilst our Members are encountering sometimes severe difficulties in the current climate as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, the same is true of the vast majority of businesses making up their client base.

The reputation and ethos of both the Association and its Members has always been one of fairness and transparency, which is perhaps even more important now than ever before. Our collective reputations could be irreversibly damaged should the perception be that Members have sought to make excessive profits from a very difficult situation which is affecting all businesses.

The NACFB has never been about telling its brokers how to run their businesses, except in ensuring prevailing mandatory regulations are adhered to. We continue to be here for Members, offering guidance on many issues but always ostensibly to best serve the reputation and resultant longevity of their businesses.

It is however important to highlight the obligations, both moral and regulatory, of all NACFB Members under the Treating Customers Fairly and Vulnerable Customer Policies of each Member firm in the context of this crisis.

We all need to be mindful that once this crisis has passed the actions of individuals and businesses will be assessed, so it is absolutely vital for all our reputations – and the future of the commercial broker industry – that Members are not seen to have been profiteering from the situation.

We therefore expect all firms to charge what would, upon detailed scrutiny, be adjudged by ‘a reasonable person’ as fair and justifiable; in both the context of the crisis itself and the nature, size and complexity of any case you submit to lenders under the CBILS scheme. We would also suggest that each Member retains evidence of the work they have undertaken, should their fees ever be challenged in the future.  

 

  • To support these guidelines and maintain transparency the NACFB have produced a CBILS Broker Agreement, a revised Terms of Business Agreement, specifically for clients using the scheme. The template document can be downloaded via the NACFB compliance hub

 

  • The Treating Customers Fairly and Vulnerable Customer policies can be downloaded by all Members via the NACFB compliance hub

 

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NACFB announces four-months of free membership for all its brokers

 

The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) has announced free membership for all existing brokers for the next four months.

To provide an immediate and direct lifeline for brokers, the Association will not be running direct debits for membership fees, nor will it seek to latterly accrue payment.

Speaking on the membership fee grace period, NACFB Chair Paul Goodman, said: “We know that last night’s announcements from the Chancellor won’t go far enough to impact most of our membership.

“We have therefore made the right decision to pause the collection of all broker membership fees – a far more substantial measure than any three-month holiday period.

“We want our loyal Members to be able to lean on their trade body during this difficult time and feel supported, not just in terms of our service, but financially too.”

No membership fee direct debits will be made for any existing NACFB brokerage for the next four months, from April until July 2020. 

For all the latest news and coronavirus-related lending updates, visit our NACFB COVID-19 Response Hub.

 

NACFB implements full remote working for head office staff

Trade body instructs entire team to work from home as Coventry event postponed

 

Following the issuing of government guidance in relation to the coronavirus outbreak, the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) has closed its physical London head office at 33 Eastcheap until further notice.
 
By adopting a full virtual remote working plan for all staff, the functionality of the Association will continue unimpeded but the upcoming events in Coventry on Wednesday 18th March have been postponed.
 
No members of the NACFB’s head office team have shown any of the symptoms of the virus and no staff have tested positive for the COVID-19 flu strain, the decision to work remotely has been taken as an entirely precautionary measure.
 
As of yet there are no plans to postpone either April’s NACFB Commercial Broker Awards or June’s Commercial Finance Expo – both set to be held in Birmingham. Their status will be monitored and all updates issued daily through the NACFB Morning Briefing.

Commenting on the office closure, NACFB CEO Graham Toy, said: “The safety and wellbeing of our head office team remains paramount. Given our City of London location and the reliance on mass public transport for many of our team’s commute, we have taken the decision to close our head office whilst the current situation persists.
 
“All meetings with the head office team will be rescheduled and we will continue to monitor the latest official guidance before making any further decisions regarding upcoming NACFB events.”
 
The NACFB will endeavour to remain fully operational in a remote setting, but stakeholders are advised to submit any enquiries via email where possible.
 
Contacts can be found below:

NACFB CEO receives Business Money ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’

Graham Toy recognised for his outstanding contributions to the UK lending community

 

LONDON, Monday 9th March 2020: Graham Toy, the CEO of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), has received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2020 Business Money London Dinner & Awards.  

Graham joined the NACFB in June 2017 arriving from N&P Commercial Lending, where he held the position of head of commercial lending and social housing for ten years. He previously held lending roles at both Barclays and Abbey Commercial.

Since taking the helm, Graham has overseen year-on-year membership growth and directed increased engagement drives with the Association’s 1934 Member brokers and 141 lender Patrons.

Upon receiving his award, Graham Toy reflected: “I am equal part surprised and delighted to have received this recognition, I have dedicated my professional life to helping fund UK business but I couldn’t have achieved this without all of the hard-working teams that have supported me.”

The editor of Business Money, Bob Lefroy commented: “I have worked with Graham in a number of his roles, and throughout his career he has consistently placed great emphasis on the vital dynamic between lenders and the intermediary community.

Since taking over at the NACFB, Graham has brought about a real culture change and is implementing measures to ready the trade body so that it can better meet future challenges head on,” he added. 

The Business Money London Dinner took place at the Hilton in Paddington on Thursday 5th March 2020.

 

Lloyds Bank announced as 2020 NACFB headline sponsor

Association welcomes high-street giant as returning headline sponsor – enhancing specialist support for brokers across the UK

 

The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) has announced the return of Lloyds Bank as the trade body’s 2020 headline sponsor.

Building upon their support over the last two years, the sponsorship will see Lloyds Bank partner with the NACFB to further promote the vital role the broker market plays for UK SMEs.

This year’s headline sponsorship will see Lloyds Bank take prominent position at all flagship and regional events as well as online and in the Commercial Broker magazine.

Andy Bishop, National Director of Business Development SME Banking at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “We are proud to once again be headline sponsor for the NACFB in 2020 and our aim is to help deliver more education, innovation and value across this highly competitive market.

The NACFB’s commitment to transparency – coupled with their advocacy of the many benefits to customers of using a professional intermediary – are just a few of the many reasons why returning as headline sponsor for the third time was an easy decision for us.

At Lloyds Bank, we pride ourselves on the relationships we have with NACFB brokers and recognise that the bank they recommend to their clients is a reflection on them and their company’s reputation. As founding NACFB Patrons, we look forward to further enhancing our relationship with the Association and its Members.”

Graham Toy, NACFB CEO, spoke of Lloyds Banks returning sponsorship: “I speak on behalf of everyone at the NACFB when I say we couldn’t be happier to have Lloyds return as headline sponsor for the third time.

Their support will stand us in good stead for the inevitable challenges we will face in 2020 and beyond, and I would like to extend our gratitude to Andy and the Lloyds team for their ongoing support – both to the NACFB and the broker market.

Our mutual commitment to championing intermediaries, as well as our focus on supporting the delivery of positive outcomes for their clients, is hardwired into the DNA of both organisations,” Graham added.

New Gabriel reporting requirements

Since the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) in December 2019, firms will see an additional change in their Gabriel reporting requirements.

Firms are now required to complete a REP008, or Notification of Disciplinary Action relating to staff captured by the conduct rules.

Firms must notify the Financial Conduct Authority via the REP008 submission if they have taken disciplinary action against a person subject to the SM&CR conduct rules, in their last reporting period, where that person was found in breach.

For most firms, the reporting period is between last September and August. Disciplinary action against a person means issuing a formal written warning, suspension or dismissal of that person, or reducing or recovering any of that person’s remuneration. As a reminder, disciplinary actions against SMF managers for a breach of the conduct rules must be reported to the Financial Conduct Authority within 7 business days via the appropriate form and therefore should not be included within your REP008 submission.

The REP008 form should be completed by a firm to:

(a) make an annual notification of disciplinary action, if the reason for taking the disciplinary action is any action, failure to act or circumstance that amounts to a breach of the individual conduct rules set out in the FCA’s Code of Conduct or;

(b) To make follow up notification to update a notification that has been previously made by the firm in relation to (a); or

(c) confirm that there is nothing to be reported under (a) or (b)

 How to complete

The Financial Conduct Authority have a support template available on the FCA website which takes users through a step by step of how to complete the REP008 on the link below.

https://gabriel.fca.org.uk/specifications/MER/DRG/REP008/v3/REP008-Data-Definition.xlsx

January issue of the NACFB’s Commercial Broker magazine now available

The latest edition features high-level results and analysis from the largest broker survey the NACFB has ever undertaken. The ten-page article examines deal trends, sector growth and intermediary-led lending conditions in 2019 and looks ahead to challenges this year.

This January issue also features insight from Lloyds Bank, Praetura Asset Finance, Octopus Real Estate, The Association of Taxation Technicians, YBS Commercial Mortgages, Redwood Bank, Paragon Bank, Recognise, FRP Advisory, ThinCats, Alternative Business Funding, iwoca, Esme, Be the Business, Reliance Bank and London Credit

Introducing the NACFB Commercial Broker Awards 2020

 

In addition to our two flagship events, 2020 sees us launch our inaugural NACFB Commercial Broker Awards, honouring the Association’s best brokerages.

The NACFB Commercial Broker Awards are a new platform for national recognition within the intermediary market. Whether you are a sole trader broker or a large regional player, these awards are the ideal way to show your peers, clients and lender partners that you have both a track record of success and the skills and expertise to grow in the coming months and years.

 

WHERE AND WHEN IS IT?

The awards ceremony will be hosted at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham from 12pm-8pm on Thursday 23rd April 2020.

 

HOW DO I ATTEND?

The event is an opportunity for the NACFB to thank our broker Members. Standard tickets are priced at £125 per ticket and £1250 per table, but for a limited time only, NACFB broker tickets will be subsidised to just £50 per ticket or £500 per table with the exclusive discount code: NACFBBROKER60

Be quick, as spaces are strictly limited. 

 
 
 
WHAT DO I GET?
Each ticket includes a welcome drink on arrival, a three-course meal and half a bottle of wine per person.

As this is a social event, we would encourage you to bring colleagues, partners, spouses and clients. 

 

HOW DO I ENTER FOR AN AWARD?

The NACFB Commercial Broker Awards are exclusively for the Association’s brokers. NACFB brokers can enter into as many relevant categories as they deem fit. The judging process is equally weighted and open to brokerages of all sizes, the shortlist will be drawn on merit with the judges looking for demonstrable evidence of broking excellence.
 

WHAT ARE THE CATEGORIES?
There are fifteen award categories from which to select, ranging from sector specific awards to deal of the year and sole trader categories. The full list, with submission forms can be found here

 
WHEN IS THE DEADLINE TO ENTER?
The deadline for all entries is 5pm on Friday 7th February 2020.
 
 
 
 

NACFB Events in 2020 – Your role in Funding Future Growth

2020 will see the NACFB host a Funding Future Growth series of broker finance forums across the UK

In a move away from events focussed on solely finance products, the Association’s 2020 events will be reframed and instead be structured around business finance sectors.

This rethinking enables the Association to host days by SME sector types, namely, but not limited to the: retail, hospitality, construction, automotive, manufacturing, professional services, healthcare, technology, exporting, property investment, and residential sectors.

Therefore, our Funding Future Growth series is open to all commercial finance intermediaries and you can register for any of them below:

The events will feature a wider range of Patron lenders and brokers, as well guest speakers who will provide updates on each sector offering unique insight and an outside perspective.

 

Norman Chambers, NACFB managing director, spoke of the decision to reframe regional events: “The decision to focus on business sectors means that a broker who attends an Association event aimed at helping fund UK retailers could come from a variety of finance sector types. Commercial mortgage brokers could see as much value in attending a much as an invoice finance broker or an asset finance broker.”

All events remain at no cost to NACFB Members.