Category Archives: Uncategorized

Are you using the NACFB Bridging Finance Enquiry Form?

 

The NACFB has made available a standardised Bridging Finance Enquiry Form, for use by brokers introducing short-term bridging loans to lenders.

The form, available to directly download here, aims to increase the quality and consistency of client information a broker passes on to a lender.

The launch of the Bridging Finance Enquiry form follows calls from brokers, lenders and suppliers to ensure that there is greater uniformity and depth of data from the outset.

Speaking of the template document’s purpose, NACFB Managing Director Norman Chambers, said: “One target for the Association has been to raise professional standards in the short-term sector.

“This form has been designed with the support of some of our short-term funders, as maintaining quality and professionalism in the sector ultimately benefits us all,” he added.

Download the new template document here or by clicking below.

 

NACFB picks-up two honours at UK trade association awards

Association’s annual Expo and in-house magazine recognised as best in class

 

The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) has won both the prestigious ‘Event of the Year’ and ‘Publication of the Year’ at the Trade Association Forum (TAF) Best Practice awards 2019.

The NACFB, the UK’s largest independent and not-for-profit trade body for commercial finance intermediaries, was recognised for both its flagship Commercial Finance Expo event and in-house membership magazine, Commercial Broker.

The annual TAF awards, held at County Hall in London, is formally supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, recognises, rewards and promotes best practice amongst trade bodies in the UK.

The Association saw off competition from over 300 UK trade bodies to take home both awards, and was also highly commended in the ‘Good Governance’ category; with judges praising efforts to enhance the processes, documentation and cultures that the trade body operates under ‘from the ground up’.

Graham Toy, Chief Executive of the NACFB, said: “These awards embrace two vitally important engagement platforms and are a testimony to the professionalism of the whole team who are passionate about continually raising the bar for the benefit of our Members.”

Paul Goodman, Chair of the NACFB, commented: “To have third-party endorsement and acknowledgement of the efforts we have been making to improve the membership experience is vitally important.

Our annual expo in Birmingham – and the refreshed Commercial Broker magazine – are just two of the many ways that we are striving to be the professional association of choice for all UK commercial finance brokers,” Paul added.

The awards come less than a month after the Association staged its largest ever Expo at the NEC in Birmingham; at which it gave away copies of its new-look monthly magazine.

 

    

NACFB Board on the road – Birmingham

 

On Tuesday 18th June the Advisory Board met in Birmingham on the eve of the Commercial Finance Expo 2019 to progress the Association’s agenda of critiquing and improving a number of important elements of how we create and drive benefit for our Members.

Some of you will recall that one of the outputs from our last meeting in Bristol was to create some quality time so that we could focus on our key strategic priorities for the remainder of 2019 and beyond. We had a successful strategy off site day on 23rd May and after a lively debate, agreed a portfolio of strategic initiatives which had Members at their heart and included our contact strategy, our reach and Member benefits and a broader look at our trading environment.

We are in the very fortunate position of having a refreshed Board including Patron Directors and Specialist Directors so when we addressed the first few initiatives in Birmingham the discussion was both energising and creative. We concentrated on our contact strategy and how we can improve the frequency and quality of how Members interact with us. We also considered the breadth of our compliance offering where there is an ongoing frustration that many Members don’t appreciate the value and breadth of the compliance resource available to them as part of the standard membership fee. Finally, we took a long hard look at the opportunities that the latest digital developments could deliver to our Members.

Whilst comfort can be taken that many of the basics are in place, the meeting concluded with a plan for some good quality enhancement to our membership journey.

NACFB Industry Awards 2019 open for entries

 
Entry submissions for this year’s NACFB industry awards are now open and the deadline for all entries is 5pm on Friday 26th July 2019.
 
This year’s NACFB Awards Ceremony will take place on the evening of Thursday 28th November 2019 and is open to submissions from all lender Patrons of the Association.

After this, a panel of NACFB brokers will produce a shortlist from which the entire membership will submit their vote for the winners.

You can download submission forms for any of the thirteen categories and enter for consideration via the event website.
 
For 2019, the thirteen categories Patrons can enter can be found below (click to download the submission form):
 
 
Once completed, submit your response www.nacfbgaladinner.co.uk  by no later than Friday 26th July 2019.
 
This year’s NACFB Awards Ceremony will take place on the evening of Thursday 28th November 2019 in the Westminster Park Plaza at our annual Gala Dinner.

Early bird tickets – still at 2018’s prices – are available until the end of this week (Friday 28th June).

Find out more, secure your place, and enter your submission at www.nacfbgaladinner.co.uk 

 
 

 

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.