Category Archives: Uncategorized

Looking beyond the FCA’s Motor Finance Review

At the start of March, the FCA issued its final findings in respect of the motor finance industry. We’ve taken the time to review the findings and have outlined our next steps, as well as sharing some good housekeeping reminders given that asset finance broking could attract closer attention from the FCA in the months ahead.

You can find out more in a direct letter to all of the Association’s asset finance brokers below, although this is just some initial guidance.

We are engaging with the FLA to share views and will be undertaking more detailed discussions with the FCA. We are also planning to establish focus groups of Members and Patrons to ensure that the way forward and guidance reflects the view of our stakeholders.

You can view the letter to asset finance brokers from NACFB CEO, Graham Toy, below.:

The May issue of our Commercial Broker magazine also features more insight from Asset Finance Policy’s Justin Rose and vehicle finance broker Graham Hill – both sharing their views on the FCA report. Read the online issue here

 

NACFB governance labelled as ‘exemplary’ by independent auditor

Consultants viewed the Association’s arrangements as ‘more thorough’ than other organisations of a similar size and function

 

The NACFB is passionate about helping to protect our Member’s businesses and one way we do this is reviewing brokerages by benchmarking them against our Minimum Standards. But how do you know that we ourselves are running a tight ship?

Financially we have our annual audit, this has recently been signed off having received a clean report. But in addition to this, we have sought assurance from a firm of independent external consultants, Rockstead, who specialise in internal audit support.

Our brief to them was to analyse and test our policies and procedures and view the Association’s operation through a number of different lenses to make sure our house is in order.

The Rockstead team embedded themselves at our head office and explored the processes, documentation and cultures that your trade body operates under. Their findings championed the Association’s high standards of leadership, corporate governance processes, systems and controls.

The good news is that your trade body passed with flying colours which provides us, as well as our Members and Patrons, with the confidence that we are building the Association on sound foundations.

Following the review, Rockstead provided a report from which the below comments have been extracted:

  • “We consider that it [the NACFB] demonstrates high standards of leadership and a progressive corporate culture.”
  • “In our opinion corporate governance processes are exemplary. Appropriate, proportionate policies are in place to underpin operational and regulatory requirements. These in turn are broadly supported by effective systems and controls which ensure that these are complied with.”
  • “We would consider these arrangements to be more complete and thorough than other organisations of a similar size and business function.”

Established in 2008, Rockstead is an independent asset, business and process review company. Rockstead are recognised as the leading provider, with the longest history, in due diligence services throughout Europe.

 

Taking the NACFB Board on the road – first stop Bristol

 

On Thursday 11th April the Board met in Bristol and were tasked with addressing how to improve engagement with Members. We started by looking closely at the membership features, benefits and value to ensure that we remain aligned to our vision and mission.

We assessed and critiqued our membership journey and agreed that any output should be tailored to the appropriate Member cohort.

Ideally, we would like all our Members to be strong and passionate advocates of the Association and have a way of measuring whether this is being achieved. The task was to ensure that all engagement potential is being exploited.

We then moved on to a more creative session with the objective of identifying additional needs where we can add value. It was agreed that more work is required and a number of the Board were charged with tasks to complete prior to attendance at a strategy day to put some detail around potential new initiatives.

Meeting in Bristol was the start of our desire to engage more directly with Members. After the meeting had completed the formal agenda, Members were invited to join the Directors for an informal presentation of the meeting output as well as a conversation on a range of topical issues.

This was a new departure for the Board. Feedback from all parties was positive indicating that this will become a new way of working which in itself will also contribute to our main effort of improving Member engagement.  

NACFB Compliance: FCA outlines ‘serious concerns’ with dealer motor finance commission

Report reaffirms value of partnering with a broker who is a Member of a professional trade body

 

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking at changes to the way in which commission is structured and arranged in the motor finance sector.

The final motor finance report, published this week, uncovers ‘serious concerns’ about the way in which lenders are choosing to reward both car retailers and credit brokers.

Their findings highlighted widespread use of commission models, which allow brokers discretion in setting the customer interest rate and thus earn higher commission, and how this can lead to conflicts of interest which may not be adequately controlled by lenders.

Commenting on the FCA’s report, NACFB Chair Paul Goodman, said: “The NACFB has been liaising with the FCA for some time over this issue and our Members have long been raising concerns over this type of practice by motor dealers. 

For the consumer, they can be assured that working with an NACFB broker, means they are dealing with a broker whom abides by a Code of Conduct, has Professional Indemnity insurance and has access to a wide range of funders to match the needs of the consumer. 

A number of dealers on the other hand, cannot state the same, which clearly brings into question how are their consumers being treated fairly.  As a Professional Association we will continue to work with the FCA to highlight what best practice looks like and promote our members whom continue to help fund UK SME’s.”

 NACFB Compliance Consultant, James Hinch, added: “We support any action which increases transparency and fairness for consumers whilst protecting competition in the industry.

 “We have seen the FCA intervene previously where poor practice has been identified, we only have to look at the payday loans or rent–to-own sectors to see the controls applied. It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to see such rules enforced here, along with additional disclosure requirements.

 “The NACFB has always championed best practise and our Code of Conduct reflects the high standards expected of all our Members, whether that be commercial – or consumer – driven.”

The FCA report concludes that it is assessing its options for intervening in the market seeking to address any harm it identified. This could include strengthening existing rules or implementing further steps such as banning certain types of commission model or limiting broker discretion.

Jonathan Davidson, executive director of Supervision Retail and Authorisations at the FCA said: “We found that some motor dealers are overcharging unsuspecting customers over a thousand pounds in interest charges in order to obtain bigger commission pay-outs for themselves.

We estimate this could be costing consumers £300m annually. This is unacceptable and we will act to address harm caused by this business model.

We also have concerns that firms may be failing to meet their existing obligations in relation to pre-contract disclosure and explanations, and affordability assessments. This is simply not good enough and we expect firms to review their operations to address our concerns.

Commenting on the FCA’s Motor Finance Report, Adrian Dally, Head of Motor Finance at the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA), said: “We welcome the FCA’s recognition of the work done by motor finance lenders to provide training for motor dealers and the positive impact this has had in meeting customer needs.

Regarding the FCA’s concerns about commission structures, their survey work is based largely on out-of-date information, and therefore does not reflect the very considerable progress the market has already made in moving away from such structures. We look forward to working with the FCA as it modernises its regulations in line with market best practice.

The regulator said it expects all firms, both lenders and brokers, to review their policies, procedures and controls to ensure they are complying with all relevant regulatory requirements and are treating customers fairly.

Find out more, and read the full report, here. 

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.