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Lloyds Bank announced as 2019 NACFB headline sponsor

Association welcomes Lloyds Bank as returning headline sponsor, enhancing specialist support for commercial finance brokers across the UK

 

The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) today announces the return of Lloyds Bank as the trade body’s 2019 headline sponsor.

Building upon their support in 2018, the sponsorship will see Lloyds Bank partner with the NACFB to further promote the vital role the broker market plays for UK SMEs.

Andy Bishop, National Director of Business Development SME Banking at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “We are proud to sponsor the NACFB in 2019 to help deliver more education, innovation and value across this highly competitive market.

The NACFB’s commitment to transparency, not to mention their advocacy of the many benefits to customers of using a professional intermediary, is just one of many reasons why returning as headline sponsor was an easy decision for us.

At Lloyds Bank we pride ourselves on the relationships we have with NACFB Members 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, added: “On behalf of everyone within the NACFB, we are delighted to have Lloyds Bank return as headline sponsor for the second time in their history.”

Graham continued: “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.”

This stands us in good stead for the inevitable challenges we will face in 2019 and beyond, and I would like to extend my thanks to the Lloyds team for their ongoing support both to us and the broker market.

 

February’s issue of Commercial Broker is here

As a Valentine’s Day treat, you can now read the digital edition of February’s NACFB magazine below:

 This month’s issue dares to delve into how technology is impacting brokers and examines how such advances should be embraced by the lending community. The issue also features insight from the British Business Bank and UK Finance as well as analysis from a range of NACFB Patrons. 

Inside February’s NACFB Advisory Board

The NACFB Advisory Board: How the Association’s Directors are working for you

Your Advisory Board meet at least six times a year and following the appointment of the new Board at our last AGM, we have acknowledged that we need to exploit more opportunities to share with you, our Members and Patrons, the sort of things that we believe are important and that are on our agenda to help us deliver on our Vision and Mission

On Thursday 7th February the Board were tasked with addressing how we develop our external reputation and brand so that we have more of a voice and reach a broader audience. A number of valuable suggestions and initiatives were debated. You should see some tangible outputs as a result of this meeting with the team at 33 delivering enhancements to help our Members share the benefits of membership and demonstrate how this adds value to the broker client relationship. Many elements of this exist but need to be gathered into one place so we will be working on developing a toolkit for you to use.

It has been some time since we formally tested Member and Patron engagement so we will be embarking on an engagement survey. This will help direct our discussions at our next meeting.

Our programme of Minimum Standards review meetings have been discussed with a view to ensuring that they deliver value to all our stakeholders.

We have critiqued our communications platforms and agreed that we need to develop our expertise and output across the social media estate.

I hope this provides you with a taste of what we have been up to. Our engagement survey will provide you with an opportunity to tell us what you think so please use this opportunity to provide us with your feedback. 

We shall continue to share updates after each Advisory Board meeting in 2019.

Graham Toy

Chief Executive Officer 

 

Association launches enhanced lead generation platform

 

 

NACFB unveils findsmefinance web portal as key Member benefit

 

The NACFB has launched an enhanced online portal, findsmefinance, offering UK businesses access to the trade body’s membership of independent finance brokers.

Our free directory enables UK businesses seeking finance to simply filter their funding requirements by loan size, type and location and are then presented with a range of the Association’s commercial brokers to approach.

The lead generation platform is available to all SME’s and provides exclusive access to NACFB broker Members with the aim of offering an alternative route to finance for businesses that may have been turned away elsewhere.

All full NACFB Members are eligible to sign-up to our new platform and can do so in minutes – with approval taking less than 48-hours. Each NACFB broker then has an updateable online listing and can monitor SME engagement through the platform via an analytical dashboard.

 

 

Commenting on the launch of the Association’s findsmefinance platform, NACFB chief executive officer Graham Toy said: “Access to finance continues to be a key issue for UK businesses and we believe there is still a lack of awareness of the finance options available to SMEs.”

Graham continued: “In an era when some lenders are scaling back their face-to-face operations, the modern finance broker has inherited and enhanced the role of a local bank manager. Brokers are able to provide advice and products from a wide range of UK funders.”

NACFB Chair, Paul Goodman, said: “The Government’s bank referral scheme helped just 230 British businesses access £3.8 million of funding in its first nine months, meaning that only 2.8% of the 8,100 businesses referred through the scheme were able to draw finance. Our findsmefinance platform, powered by the NACFB, is targeting 5,000 SME searches in the first year alone.”

Paul added: “The site will seek to provide a lifeline to those left behind by providing access to a wide range of brokers, all of whom adhere to an industry recognised Code of Practice. If a business uses a broker with the NACFB logo, they know they’ll be using a knowledgeable, experienced and trusted advisor.”

For further enquires please contact Nicholas Murphy via findsmefinance@nacfb.org.uk

 NACFB brokers can register today via: findsmefinance.co.uk/join

Join the NACFB at 2019’s Commercial Finance Expo

Registration opens for the industry’s biggest commercial lending trade show

The NACFB Commercial Finance Expo, the UK’s biggest commercial lending trade show, returns for the tenth time to Birmingham’s NEC on Wednesday 19th June 2019.

 Visitors can register today via the event website at: www.commercialfinanceexpo.co.uk/register

The free event is open to anyone with an interest in commercial finance and 2019’s event will host a wider spread of exhibitors than ever before – with nearly 100 already confirmed to exhibit.

Delegates will have access to exhibitors offering finance products from the asset, buy-to-let, bridging, development, commercial mortgages, unsecured, and cashflow sectors.

This year’s NACFB Commercial Finance Expo takes place on Wednesday 19th June 2019 in Hall 3A at Birmingham’s NEC from 9:30am until 4:30pm.

The Commercial Finance Expo has become the headline event on the commercial finance calendar. Quite simply there is no better place for brokers to see all the lenders they work with under one roof on the same day.

We will be launching our dedicated mobile app, CFE2019, which will be available to download from March. It will allow delegates to schedule a meeting with an array of exhibitors and browse profiles of those attending in advance.

Graham Toy, NACFB CEO, said: “Our Expo is primarily about doing business. But it’s also the best place to build your network and to enhance your knowledge of the latest products on the market.”

 “We’ll be launching a full conference programme in the coming months, this will include pertinent debate topics with relevance to all modern finance professionals.”

 Find out more at: www.commercialfinanceexpo.co.uk

The NACFB’s Commercial Broker magazine is here

The new look NACFB magazine – Commercial Broker – is finally here and you can read January’s issue below.

January 2019

 

The magazine provides a platform for NACFB lender Patrons and broker Members to have their say on all matters impacting the commercial finance sector. 

This month’s issue looks at the year ahead and features insight from the Bank of England as well as leading industry lawyers and valuers. 

The magazine’s new look forms part of wider changes to your Association and you’ll start to see more changes roll out as the year unfolds. 

You can also access the full digital archive of the NACFB magazine here.

Have your say in 2019

It’s not too late to get involved with the Commercial Broker magazine in 2019. We will always welcome high-quality thought leadership and robust opinion pieces from lender Patrons and broker Members alike.

All insightful feature articles from NACFB Patrons will remain at no cost, although more overtly advertorial and self-promoting pieces will incur a fee as outlined within our rate card.

A note from your NACFB Chair

 

A very Happy New Year to you all and I trust that you have enjoyed a great festive period with family and friends.  In an ever-increasing fast paced world that we live in, down time is an essential component for a business owner and entrepreneur, so I hope you have made the most of this time, I know I have.

I write to you at the start of my fifth year as Chair of the NACFB and at a point where I believe the Association has never been in better shape; benefiting from the support of a record number of Members and Patrons.  Our industry leading events, such as the Commercial Finance Expo and Gala Dinner, both enjoyed record attendances also. A similar pattern that is reflected across our regional events programme also.

Of course, this is only part of our story of successes.  Later this month, we have the launch of our new-look magazine, designed and tailored to support our Members with industry specific thought leadership and articles. 2019 will also see an overhaul of our main website and FindSMEfinance lead generation platform – both of which will be supported behind the scenes by new back office systems.  These initiatives have been designed to support your businesses so that you can assist more SMEs through potentially turbulent times.

This doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels, not at all.  I will be welcoming three new Member, two Patron and one external Board Directors later this month to your Advisory Board.  I look forward to embracing their energy and enthusiasm to continue to build on the great foundations that are in place to deliver value and support to all our members.

We continue to welcome selective new Patrons to our Association, whilst ensuring that we enrich and enhance our existing Patron relationships. Collaboration between our Members and Patrons is always high on the Association’s agenda, to ensure that our Patrons continue to provide the depth and breadth of funding we all need for our clients.

I will be delivering my vision for my last two years as Chairperson to our new Board later this month.  With their support and the support of our Executive and head office team, I look forward to delivering more value to you, our Members. Ensuring that we are ahead of the compliance curve, embracing the elements of technology best suited for brokers to remain effective in a world filling with disruptive technology. Finally, I will seek to ensure that we as brokers have all the tools and support in our kitbags to further our businesses as individuals and as a collective force.

As a membership organisation, I would implore you to attend as many events as you can.  Your voice is important to us, we do listen, and our door is always open to listen to feedback, both good and bad.

Looking forward into 2019, we clearly have choppy waters ahead given Brexit or whatever it ends up being on March 29th.  We seem to have been in a world of uncertainly forever now and with the pace of change showing no signs of slowing, we are ever more required to shine brightly as the place to come to for UK SMEs to secure funding.  We have the Members to be able to guide businesses through these uncertain times, and by maintaining our high standards, we will remain the kitemark of excellence within the finance industry.

I wish you all a successful 2019 and beyond.

Paul Goodman

Chair of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers

The NACFB: Helping to make your boat go faster in 2019

Ten ways your trade body will support brokers in 2019

 

 

There is plenty to be said and written on the year ahead. Many will point to the unending political and economic uncertainty and prophesise of market corrections and unstable lending conditions.

Entering our 27th year, the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers remains focused on the tangible certainties and, as such, we have outlined ten ways in which your trade body will continue to champion and support commercial brokers in 2019.

 

1. The voice of the industry

Before and after the 29th March Brexit cut-off date, NACFB brokers will continue to do what they do best; helping to fund UK business. Our remit sees us liaise with the regulators, the Government, and lenders to maintain an accurate barometer of business activity. We are here – and on your side – to ensure that we navigate unknowns as a collective and mitigate obstacles through continued and tailored support to the broker community.

 

2. A more representative Board of Directors

The Association was pleased to officially announce the appointment of new Board Directors at last year’s Annual General Meeting and subsequent EGM. The revised Board structure of 12 Directors comprises six broker Board Members, two Patrons, two independents alongside the Chair and Vice-Chair. This revised structuring enables broader, cross-market insight and representation whilst guaranteeing that the board remains Member-driven. Find out more on your new Board here.

 

3. Improved lead generation for brokers

One benefit of membership we want to enhance is that of a signature lead generation platform, FindSMEFinance. We’ll be completely overhauling our bespoke finance hub, steering small businesses across the UK to the online portal where their funding requirements will be matched with an appropriate NACFB broker. We’ll keep you updated with our progress and how you can take advantage of the service.

 

4. Enhanced anti-money laundering checks

The Association recently teamed up with SmartSearch to provide our Members with preferential access to the leading anti-money laundering platform. The SmartSearch platform uses data partners Experian, Equifax, Dow Jones and Companies House to conduct searches and checks on individuals and businesses. We’ve negotiated preferential rates for all NACFB Members, who will be invoiced quarterly based on usage. Register your business via the website today.  

 

5. Introducing Associate Patronage

In addition to SmartSearch, we’re launching a new tier of patronage known as Associate Patrons. Associate Patrons and non-lender organisations that can bring real value to our Members. These will include services from insurers, valuers, legal services and even designers. We will carefully review each and every opportunity to ensure that we offer a full suite of discounted business support options for brokers.

 

6. A fresh new look

We hope that you’ll begin to notice changes to the look and feel of the Association in 2019. We took the decision to evolve our aesthetic, rather than completely overhauling our identity, as we felt it no longer reflected our modern and forward-thinking approach. Such plans for 2019 are not just limited to surface level changes. The rebranding and greater visual consistency overlay the broader logistical and cultural changes taking place behind the scenes. You will soon see enhancements and updates across all our key platforms.

 

7. Refreshed print and digital offerings

Central to our rebranding are the two main touch points for our Members, our website (nacfb.org) and our flagship and revitalised print magazine – Commercial Broker. The first issue of the new-look magazine will drop in a few weeks’ time, but you can still view the archived issues online here. The new website comes after a root and branch review of how we support our Members. We’re streamlining our online presence and developing a broker portal that offers more services under one roof, from lender directories to bespoke knowledge hubs.

 

8. Complete working document support

We maintain an online suite of working template documents designed to help brokers standardise processes and meet regulatory requirements. These documents form part of our ‘Model Office’ and remain free to access for all NACFB Members. Find out more through NACFB Compliance today.

 

9. A full regional events programme

2018 saw the Association stage more events than ever before; with nearly 500 brokers joining us at one of 30 regional roundtable days. We’ll be continuing these sector specific days in 2019, but we’ll be tweaking the structure a little, allowing brokers to extract more value from the events. This year’s programme will see the sessions shortened and paired with complementary sectors, for example our Commercial Mortgages roundtable day will share the billing with our Buy-to-let day. You can find out more, and sign-up to an event near you here.

 

10.  Hosting the UK’s biggest trade show

We’re immensely proud of our flagship event, the NACFB Commercial Finance Expo. The event returns to Birmingham’s NEC once more on Wednesday 19th June 2019. Building on last year’s record-breaking event, 2019 will boast more lenders and suppliers under one roof than any other event in the UK. Registration will open soon, and now more than ever, it will be a year not to be missed. If you can’t quite wait that long you can remind yourself of last year’s Expo with our highlights video below. 

 

Association confirms 2019 Board of Directors

Following a voting process to appoint a new Board for 2019, via an online EGM, the NACFB received sufficient votes to be quorate.

It can therefore be confirmed that the following Members have been appointed as Board Directors:

 

  • Mike Deacon – Asset Based Finance & Leasing

  • Mike Geddes – Asset Finance Solutions (UK)

  • Phil Gray – Watts Commercial Finance

  • Steve Olejnik – Mortgages for Business

  • David Sampson – Omega Commercial Solutions

  • Geoff Wilson – White Rose Finance Group

 

At the AGM in November, Members voted to retain Paul Goodman and Adrian Coles as Chair and Vice Chair to ensure continuity whilst the new Board is established.

The Association have also filled the Specialist Director roles with the appointment of Russ Lewis and David Newborough, whilst Martine Catton (Catalyst Business Finance) and Dave Furnival (NatWest) complete the line-up as Patron Directors.

Ralph Black, Ray Wells, Robert Collins, Alan Ellison and Graham Hill have stepped down from their roles as Directors. The Association is grateful for their enthusiasm, dedication and insight that helped drive the NACFB forward and we wish them every success in the future. 

 

NACFB partners with SmartSearch to enhance anti-money laundering checks

The NACFB has teamed up with SmartSearch to provide its members with preferential access to its award-winning anti-money laundering platform.

 

 

The partnership comes in response to increased demand from NACFB Members for a simple and effective way to conduct due diligence checks on both individuals and businesses.

After scrutinising the market – and consulting with members – the Association found that SmartSearch’s unique platform was ideally suited to offer a solution. The SmartSearch platform uses data partners Experian, Equifax, Dow Jones and Companies House to conduct searches and checks on individuals and businesses both across the UK and the international markets.

The simple and easy to use system allows brokers to access all this data in seconds, and can even be done remotely thanks to SmartAML, SmartSearch’s fully integrated app.

The SmartSearch platform also delivers warning email alerts, to allow those responsible for AML compliance to keep a watching brief over users and ensures that enhanced due diligence is undertaken if PEPs or Sanctions warnings are highlighted.

Graham Toy chief executive officer at the NACFB, said: “We work hard to ensure our brokers receive a first-class proposition with their membership, including comprehensive compliance support. Through implementing SmartSearch we are able to provide them with a world class resource for this important element of compliance.”

“The feedback from brokers who already use the platform is overwhelmingly positive. These brokers have told us that SmartSearch is an efficient and effective way of conducting background searches. We remain committed to making the lives of commercial brokers easier, and we look forward to continuing to provide innovative solutions like this, to do just that.”

John Dobson, CEO of SmartSearch, said: “We are delighted to be working with the NACFB, the support they provide for brokers is unrivalled in the market and the addition of the SmartSearch serves only to enhance this further.”

Martin added: “With fraud on the rise and the fifth money laundering directive now being implemented, there has never been a time when AML services have been in greater demand.”

The Association have negotiated preferential rates for all NACFB Members, who we will be invoiced quarterly based on usage. We have set-up a dedicated portal for you to get your business registered, this can be found via: www.smartsearchsecure.com/register/nacfb

You can find out more about the SmartSearch service by downloading the SmartSearch Brochure