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NACFB announces Lloyds Bank as 2018 title sponsor

The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers welcomes Lloyds Bank as 2018 sponsors, enhancing specialist support for commercial finance brokers across the UK

LONDON: Lloyds Bank announced as the title sponsor of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) for the first time in its history.

The NACFB has served as a trade body for commercial brokers across the UK since 1992 and was first sponsored by Shawbrook in 2014.

The organisation has since continued to grow in stature and scope with nearly 140 lenders associated with it.

Andy Bishop, National Director of Business Development, SME Banking at Lloyds Bank, said: “We are proud to sponsor the NACFB in 2018 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 the reasons why becoming title sponsor 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 clients is a reflection on them and their reputation. In this, our sixth year as NACFB Patrons, we look forward to 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 on board as title sponsor for the first time.

“Our mutual commitment to being a source of expertise for 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 2018 and beyond, and I would like to extend my thanks to the Lloyds Bank team for their ongoing support.”

 

Andy Bishop. National Director of Business Development, SME Banking at Lloyds Bank

 

 

Join the NACFB at Commercial Finance Expo 2018

The biggest industry event of the year returns to the NEC on 20th June

 

 

 

2018 sees the NACFB return for the ninth time to Birmingham’s NEC for the annual NACFB Commercial Finance Expo

This event takes place on Wednesday 20th June 2018 in Hall 3A at Birmingham’s NEC from 9:30am until 4:30pm, and you can register today here.

The free event is open to anyone with an interest in Commercial Finance and 2018’s event will host a wider spread of exhibitors than any ever before – with over 100 confirmed to exhibit on the day.

Why attend?
Now in its ninth year the Commercial Finance Expo has become the headline event on the commercial finance calendar. Our sponsors span the widest cross-section of the market, making this the largest finance show for intermediaries in the country.

The event is about doing business, networking and education, but it is also an entertaining affair with a well established good-natured rapport between all exhibitors and attendees. It remains one of few places that brokers can see all their lenders and funders in one place on the same day.

Many lender exhibitors return year after year wanting to take full advantage of the opportunity to meet with professionals operating in the UK commercial finance sector.

Event App
For the first time the attendees will be able to download a bespoke event mobile app in advance of 20th June. The app will feature the full agenda, listing keynote speakers and workshops, and enable delegates to book one-to-one meetings with any number of lender exhibitors.

Early bird registrations will receive advanced access to the app and through it will benefit from exclusive priority meeting booking with each lender.  

 

Mind the gap – NACFB Bridging Finance Day 2018

The NACFB’s inaugural Bridging Finance Day was hailed a triumph by brokers and lenders following the event held in London on 25th January 2018.

The day marked the first in a series of bespoke sector events catering to individual aspects of commercial finance lending hosted by the NACFB. Kicking off with Bridging Finance Day, the Association’s aim is to develop an environment that establishes centres of excellence whilst maintaining the highest professional standards across all commercial finance divisions.

NACFB managing director Norman Chambers and Kevin Jones, CEO of Omega Group, outlined the NACFB’s objectives and the Association’s ongoing efforts to support the bridging finance sector. They spoke of efforts to educate NACFB members in all aspects of bridging finance whilst promoting the highest professional standards. Such events and future efforts will help establish and develop members’ relationships with new and existing lenders, whilst providing forums to keep members informed of upcoming changes – especially on compliance and regulatory matters.

The packed-out day at London’s Vanderbilt hotel, saw six Patrons engage in roundtable discussions with NACFB brokers operating in the bridging space. Among items discussed were the various types and uses of bridging finance products available to introducers, views of realistic bridging finance interest rates as well as lending criteria, potential exit options and analysis of working case studies.

Representatives from Patrons Amicus, Lendinvest, London Credit, Masthaven, Together and Roma Finance were able to directly address questions from all attending brokers and draw frameworks for a number of future opportunities.

Ian Boden, sales director at Lendinvest, praised NACFB Members for utilising the ‘speed dating’ format and valued the opportunity to network in a bridging focussed setting. Scott Marshall, managing director at Roma Finance, relayed how the day enabled him to make half a dozen ‘proper deals’ which would not have come about had they not had occasion to sit down and talk through processes directly with attending brokers.

The first part of the day focused on training and education and began with expert legal insight from Jonathan Newman, senior partner at Brightstone Law. Jonathan shared his experiences of bridging deals to both brokers and lenders in the form of a case study. The outcomes from his real-life example of a disputed bridging loan called for improved transparency in methods, better business practices, stronger working relationships and an adherence to greater sector professionalism.

Attendees on the day also benefited from a complimentary compliance workshop from Roger Deane, managing director of NACFB Compliance. Roger outlined the regulatory hurdles and potential compliance pitfalls bridging finance brokers may encounter during the lifecycle of a deal and concluded with a look ahead to the upcoming GDPR directive.

With the UK bridging sector thriving, the industry in 2018 is worth an estimated £4bn with around 40 specialist bridging lenders operating in the arena. The NACFB Bridging Finance Day formed part of continued efforts by the Association to further facilitate dialogue between bridging lenders and brokers to help fund UK businesses.

Following the success of the London Bridging Finance Day, the NACFB is rolling out free sector specific events across the country – including another regional bridging event. You can book online for the below events:

  • Working Capital Solutions Day – Reading, 20th February 2018 – Spaces available
  • Development Finance Day – Birmingham, 7th March 2018 – Spaces available
  • Asset Finance Day – Nottingham, 13th March 2018 – Spaces available
  • Factoring & Invoice Discounting Day – TBC
  • Commercial Mortgage Day –  TBC
  • Buy-to-Let Finance Day – TBC
  • Bridging Finance Day (non-London) –  TBC

Make the most of your Membership in 2018

All NACFB Members now have access to NACFB Compliance support and MyNACFB, our bespoke online training portal.

 

Since launching NACFB Compliance in 2017, many Members have already benefited from access to over 50 template documents from our online model office, training and education from our compliance team as well bespoke support for more specific regulatory matters. These benefits are now available to all our Members. 

 

 

We pride ourselves on our understanding of the commercial finance industry and aim to provide our Members with the very best support in our ever-evolving regulatory environment. NACFB Compliance will provide you and your brokerage with the guidance and support to help maintain the compliant nature of your business.

We have also significantly reduced the pricing of our workshops, in order to make them more accessible to all Members. For example, the GDPR workshops are now only £50 +VAT.

 

A key objective is to support and raise the professional standards of Commercial Finance Brokers through our bespoke training and education portal MyNACFB. Training modules will be available throughout 2018, and upon completion will count towards your annual CPD accreditation. 

 

 

For further information on NACFB Compliance support and MyNACFB you can contact the compliance team via compliance@nacfb.org.uk

We look forward to working with you in 2018.

 

 

Roger Deane

Managing Director, NACFB Compliance 

The UK’s Flagship Commercial Finance Association

After a positive AGM, NACFB CEO Graham Toy walks through how your Association is shaping-up in 2018

 

 

November’s NACFB AGM was my first as CEO and in it we put forward proposals to help navigate the NACFB in what I firmly believe is a passage that will steer the ship safely and enabling us to face choppy waters with confidence and agility. You should by now be aware that all of the proposed resolutions were passed by a significant majority, but I am enthusiastic to further outline why these positive changes were brought in, to be absolutely transparent before our Members and Patrons and walk through the changes you will start to see.

You can view the 2017 AGM Minutes here, in order to get an understanding of the debates that were had on the day. 

2017 was a year of change and to recognise such change the NACFB team underwent strategy sessions to discuss in depth structural matters that provide the very foundation of this organisation. Many of those matters fed into the heart of the resolutions that were proposed at last year’s AGM.

From these sessions we developed a clear and focused Vision and Mission Statements. You may have already seen these trailed and spoken of at NACFB events already, but it is the motives and thinking behind these that will underpin everything that we as an Association aim to deliver in the future. I outline both our Vision and Mission statements below:

 

Our NACFB Vision

  • To be the professional association of choice for all commercial finance brokers and lenders servicing the needs of business borrowers and property investors

 

Our NACFB Mission

  • We will partner our Members to foster professional expertise. We will embrace the highest industry and regulatory standards, including engagement with our stakeholders, to help your business prosper

 

At the heart of our thinking are three core principles. The first of which is to foster professional expertise further enabling the NACFB to remain both a kite mark and hall mark for quality and professionalism. Secondly, we want to uphold the highest industry and regulatory standards. This is not about reluctantly adopting the regulations but understanding why they are required, and considering the benefits of making sure your business is fit for purpose. Finally, we want to help your business prosper – this is your Association and everything we do should be for your benefit.

 

Your Membership benefits

The next piece of work the NACFB team and I undertook was to make sure we all had a clear focus on how we add value. There is little point in having a carefully crafted vision and mission without having a clear handle on exactly what we do to deliver value to you the members.

From this we developed our USP’s and we hope that you will agree that these are at the very heart of what we do to enable your business to prosper:

I hope that you will agree that this is a comprehensive range of activities designed to help you run your business and I am keen to ensure that these benefits are clearly communicated to both existing and new NACFB Members. You can learn more about these here.

 

Streamlining your NACFB Membership

We wanted all NACFB Members to be able to benefit from full access to MyNACFB, full support from NACFB Compliance in addition to NACFB Membership. To this end we have amalgamated the three types of subscription that we offer. Instead of subscribing to NACFB Compliance Services Ltd, paying for MyNACFB and paying the membership fee, all Members will now receive all these benefits under a single membership fee.

This revised subscription for Members is now £60 per month (£720 per annum). There is no increase for Registered Individuals (RI’s) and their membership will remain at £210 per annum. This revised model of membership is VAT exempt and can be paid by direct debit either monthly or annually, streamlining your payment process. This new Membership fee will remain frozen for all Members throughout 2019.

 

Complete Compliance Support

As part of this new Membership model, NACFB Compliance support is available to all NACFB Members from January 1st 2018.

We pride ourselves on our understanding of the commercial finance industry and aim to provide our Members with the very best support in this ever-evolving regulatory environment. NACFB Compliance will provide you and your Brokerage with the guidance and support necessary for staying fully compliant with both regulatory requirements and the NACFB Minimum Standards.

We have also significantly reduced the pricing of our workshops. This actions some of the feedback we received from last year’s GDPR workshops which we are now running at only £50 +VAT. This pricing is calculated at enough to cover our costs only. 

You can learn more about NACFB Compliance via our sister site nacfbcompliance.co.uk including more on the benefits of using our bespoke support team. 

2018 and beyond

I do hope you now have a clearer understanding not only of the changes that are taking place, but crucially why they are being made. This is a Member-driven Association and together we are striving to become the professional association of choice for all commercial finance brokers and lenders.

The ship is in good order, we are on a clearly defined course, and although it may not always be plain sailing, I hope I can rely on your support to partner with us to help foster greater professional expertise whilst embracing the highest industry and regulatory standards allowing your business to prosper.

 

 

Graham Toy

NACFB CEO

NACFB TV

 

As part of NACFB efforts to be more transparent before our Membership the Senior Management team have shared their insight and views on the enhancements and proposed changes to your NACFB.

 

NACFB Managing Director Norman Chambers discusses the benefits to becoming a Member of the Association:

 

NACFB CEO Graham Toy discusses the thinking behind the proposed Membership changes within the Association:

 

Compliance Services Managing Director Roger Deane discusses how NACFB meets its obligations for both training and education:

 

Graham Toy talks through the Association’s proposed internal governance restructuring plans:

 

Enhancing your NACFB Membership

 

We are planning a significant change in our approach to membership, with the aim of delivering more value.

The Board have continued to debate how best to support the Membership over the coming years from a regulatory perspective. From our meetings with the FCA and other trade bodies, we all know that regulation has only one direction of travel. Therefore, to continue to help you as Members, the Association launched a bespoke compliance arm in 2017 catering specifically for those operating in the commercial finance space.

We believe that this added security and support, at a very competitive price, will help you and your clients. We are here as your trusted trade body to keep you up-to-date with regulatory issues and provide technical support whenever it may be required.

We are proposing to amalgamate the three types of subscription that we offer. Instead of subscribing to NACFB Compliance Services Ltd, paying for MyNACFB and paying the membership fee, we are proposing that all Members receive all these benefits for one membership fee.

We are proposing a revised subscription for Members of £60 per month (£720 per annum). For Registered Individuals (RI’s) there is no increase, so membership remains at £210 per annum. This revised model of membership is VAT exempt and can be paid by direct debit either monthly or annually, streamlining the payments process.

 

 

We are also committing to freeze the membership rate of £720 for 2019. We will also be reducing the cost of our workshops to a level that covers our costs, for example the GDPR event is now £50 + VAT – down from £255 + VAT, delivering outstanding value for your business.

The new membership subscription will apply from your normal renewal date but the enhanced benefits package will commence on 1st January 2018. If you have already paid for NACFB Compliance Services, we will refund any fees you have paid in advance for 2018 compliance support. If you are paying monthly, we will cancel your direct debit to ensure no payments are taken for next year.

 

NACFB 2018 Group Budget

 

 We are aiming to deliver a financial plan that incorporates sensible expectations for Member and Patron volumes, and realistic predictions of our administration expenses. We are also seeking to deliver a surplus which should help deliver financial stability to the Association and enable it to continue to deliver greater support for Members.

Detailed below is the budget for 2018, for comparison purposes the current out-turn forecast for 2017 and the 2016 year-end results:

  Initial Budget 2018 (£) Latest forecast 2017 (£) Final Actual 20176 (£)
Income      
Patronage Income 644,503 638,278 587,133
Membership fees 561,623 490,748 364,737
Seminars & Sponsorship 10,000 11,500 48,816
Gala dinner Income & Sponsorship  238,650 238,650 193,041
Expo Income & Sponsorship 525,000 439,328 319,363
Sundry Income 0 0 13,050
NACFB Member Services Income 56,919 58,544 48,193
Compliance Services Income 34,200 106,160 44,240
  2,070,895 1,983,208 1,618,573
Expenditure      
Gala dinner costs (164,000) (164,000) (130,755)
Expo Costs (254,989) (222,636) (197,095)
Administration Expenses (1,453,143) (1,397,430) (1,169,233)
  (1,872,132) (1,784,066) (1,497,083)
Operating Surplus 198,763 199,142 121,490
Other interest receivable and similar income 3,122 704 1,171
Surplus before taxation 201,885 199,846 122,661

 

The key assumptions adopted in this budget are:

  • The proposed changes to the membership subscription.
  • A phased 10% fall in Member numbers and a 5% fall in the volume of Patrons.
  • 3 additional full-time employees recruited on a phased basis.
  • Administration expenses include £36,000 for a possible change initiative focusing on our accounting processes and membership journey and £18,000 for a phased increase in the cost of MyNACFB licenses.

 

The result is a projected surplus for 2018 of £201,885. We believe that this is both practical and reasonable because:

  • We haven’t been over optimistic with income projections. In fact, if we are able to retain current levels of Members and Patrons, there is the potential to increase income by circa £56,000.
  • Administration expenses includes some provision for us to invest in the business and to absorb, as yet unknown, cost increases.
  • The most significant unknown is the increase in demand on the compliance team as Members start to use us rather than their current supplier. Whilst our expectation is that this will phase in over the year, we need to have some provision in place.

 

As a membership organisation our membership fees should ideally cover our costs. Budgeted administration costs for membership and compliance activity in 2018 are £1,453,143. After applying the membership fee increase, the Members will contribute just 34% of our running costs and projected surplus.

In making this observation the Association is not seeking to undermine the importance of our Patrons as key stakeholders of the organisation or in any way give the impression that their contribution is not valued. We must however ensure we are not too reliant on their financial support.

The CFE and Gala Dinner contribute 21%, with compliance and other income generating activities an additional 5%. In total 60%, meaning we are reliant on Patrons for 40% of our administration expenses and projected surplus. As a membership organisation it is prudent to make sure that we have a financial structure that makes us sustainable and fit for the future. Reducing our reliance on income from non-members must be taken into account. It is worth reflecting on the trend since 2010 when the source of income from membership and patronage were on a par. As you can see below we have steadily increased our reliance on Patron’s support.

The important financial contribution from the CFE and Gala dinner is also illustrated. In 2017 the forecast surplus from these operations is £291,342 which is a valuable contribution toward our administration expenses and surplus. These events also deliver an excellent example of how the Association delivers collaboration within our industry which is one of our key objectives.

At the end of 2017, our capital account will be in the region of £700,000. We have, for some time, adopted a guiding principle that we should hold sufficient capital to sustain the organisation for 6 months. Our budgeted administration expenses for 2018 excluding Member Services – e.g. CFE and Gala Dinner – are £1,453,143. 6 months costs are £726,571. In addition, there will be contracted costs within NACFB Member Services Ltd which we would be obliged to cover. We are therefore right on target with the value of capital that we are holding.

 

Changes to the governance of the NACFB

 

We are seeking to change the structure of the Board to bring in a broader range of skills and experience including non-members and Patrons, whilst implementing a governance structure to strengthen the strategic approach, oversight and operational effectiveness of the Association.

We hope that you have heard about these proposals from the magazine. If you have missed this, the key change is a revised Board structure of 12 Members comprising six broker Board Members, two co-optee Broker Board Members, two independents and two Patrons. This should provide a diversity of experience, knowledge and insight whilst ensuring that Broker Members will always be a majority. Provided below is an extract from the recent magazine article that explains our plans in more detail.

 

Introducing Board Member Remuneration

 

We are trying to address the succession planning required to protect the Association’s future and introduce a level of recompense that acknowledges Board Director’s contribution and accountability.

As the organisation has grown, so have the responsibilities of the Board. They perform a key role in setting the strategy and direction of travel for the Association. It is therefore important that there is a sound and robust succession plan in place to identify and secure new Board Members and then make sure that a training and development programme is in place so that they can progress through the Board structure and increasing levels of responsibility. As part of this process we need to make sure that Board Directors are appropriately rewarded. At present Operations Board Directors are paid £250 per day that they attend a board meeting plus expenses.

The proposal is that Board Directors will be paid a basic amount of £3,000 per annum. If a Director attends both Advisory Board and Operations Board, they will be paid separately for each Board position. Additional amounts will be paid for Directors who are appointed to positions of additional responsibility such as Chair and Vice-Chair.

This will not fully compensate Board Members for the time they have contributed or the time they have lost working in their own business. It is however a token and an indication of their value to the organisation. The proposed payments are made to the Director’s business rather than to them personally.

 

Conclusion

 

These are important changes for the Association, so we want to ensure that we share the thinking behind these recommendations with all our Members. We hope that the explanations and illustrations above provide some additional colour to the resolutions that are on the AGM agenda.

 

 

 

 

Patrons Day 2017 – “An Association built by members, for members”

 

The second NAFCB Patrons Day took place in London on the 26th September. Following on from last week’s Members Day representatives from 50 NACFB Lenders joined chief executive Graham Toy, managing director Norman Chambers and members of the NACFB board at a forum designed to outline the Association’s progress and look ahead to future development.

 

The opening words of Chairman Paul Goodman outlined that such days are part of a journey the NACFB is taking in efforts to become “more transparent, inclusive and engaged”. This is a journey that the Association wants to take hand in hand with Members and Lenders alike, and the ideas and feedback received will help shape, steer and structure positive future changes.

 

Graham Toy used the forum as a platform to discuss key issues face-to-face, and in the Association’s 25th year, roadmap a plan for future growth with the support and understanding of the Lenders our Member brokers engage with.

 

Patrons collectively recognised the positive changes the NACFB has made in the last 18-months and looked forward to seeing a continuation on the same trajectory. As with the Members Day feedback the week before, Patrons also expressed their desire to have greater clarity of communication from the NACFB and more distinctly tailored messages to each sector. 

 

Engagement was the word on everyone’s lips, and Graham was eager to relay that improving engagement levels across all channels is top of his priority list. This will take consistent effort on the part of Association to deliver ongoing value and communicate more clearly the mission statement of the NACFB.

 

The open and frank discourse between the head office team, NACFB board and Patrons offered some lively debate and constructive feedback. When asked what Patrons viewed as a priority for the NACFB it was clear that compliance matters are very much on high on the agenda. Whilst Patrons conduct their own due diligence checks with the brokers they engage with there were further calls for the NACFB to encourage all its Members to be fully compliant ahead of upcoming regulatory changes.

 

Following roundtable discussions Patrons fed back to the room that there is still demand for more brokers and greater broker education. Educating brokers more thoroughly on the full spectrum of available Lenders and their products, as well as risk appetite awareness is an area where Patrons feel the NACFB can improve.  The commercial finance sector is changing rapidly whilst attracting new talent, it was suggested that the benefits of becoming a broker as a career option should also fall with the NACFB’s remit.

 

We view the NACFB as an Association built by members for members” offered one Patron echoing the same sentiments from last week’s broker session. But there are key areas where the NACFB can improve; namely in the variety of sponsorship opportunities available, the strategic use of survey data, and enhancing the visibility of the Association across the UK – further decentralising from London.

 

Vice-Chairman Adrian Coles spoke of the Association’s internal governance structure review. Adrian spoke of an ongoing process and the bid to gain a better grasp of what Patrons want to see from the Association in the future, as well as how board restructuring can benefit an NACFB that is growing in both scale and complexity. An area that was met with enthusiasm was the notion of having greater board diversity, one suggestion put forward by Patrons was to “taper in” specialist board members, creating an opportunity for legal and Patron board representation in the future.

 

This was only the second Patrons Day in 2017 but similar opportunities will form part of the NACFB’s events calendar in 2018. How can the NACFB work better to help our Patrons? Were you unable to attend and feel like offering your own perspective? Get in touch, the NACFB is not just receptive to feedback on Members and Patrons days – you can reach us any time by contacting any member of our team via phone or email.

When imitation isn’t the sincerest form of flattery

 

Upon hearing of a spate of fraudulent impersonation attempts in the sector, Norman Chambers, Managing Director at the NACFB examines this rising imitation game and advises on how to protect your business

 

Last month the fraud prevention body Cifas warned that identity fraud has now reached “epidemic” levels – with almost 500 cases reported every single day in the UK alone.

The first six months of this year saw a record 89,000 cases of identity fraud, which typically involved impersonation in order to steal people’s money, buy items or take out loans or auto insurance in their name.

In the pre-artificial intelligence era, the bread and butter of our businesses relies on people interacting and sharing sensitive information daily. In our world of Commercial Finance Brokering these relationships are nurtured and built over many years, but how can you be sure the person you just received an email from is the same one you saw the day before?

Sadly, cyber-criminals are relentlessly targeting consumers and businesses, and the vast amounts of personal data that is available either online or through data breaches is only making it easier for fraudsters. Financial fraud losses in the UK totalled £768.8m in 2016, up 2% on 2015, according to Financial Fraud Action UK.

Fraudsters need just three pieces of information to steal your identity – and most can be found on Facebook and other social media websites – we must all be alert to this threat and do more to protect personal and business information.

To this end, we have highlighted common scams we think our Commercial Finance Broker members should be mindful of:

  1. Sometimes fraudsters will pose as a boss of a company instructing staff to make a wire transfer into the fraudster’s account. These attempts will often happen on a Friday afternoon pressuring staff to make a quick decision before the weekend begins.
  2. Fraudsters can also pose as the IT services department of a Lender saying they want to make a test transfer – but it is rarely a test. If Lenders ask for such information speak with your familiar contact first before issuing any funds.
  3. Fraudsters claim to be a supplier and ask for outstanding invoices to be paid into a new bank account. If it’s a new bank account that funds will be transferred to, a combination of due diligence and common sense can prevent costly errors.
  4. You and your employees should always be aware of clicking on links within emails. Such phishing scams often containing malware which authorises many small payments to the fraudster’s account.

The NACFB encourages all of its member Brokers to remain vigilant, only issue payments to trusted sources, and if you have even the remotest element of doubt – trust your instincts.

Your NACFB is listening – London Members Day 2017

The first of three NAFCB Members Days took place in London on the 19th September. Representatives from 40 NACFB member firms joined chief executive Graham Toy, managing director Norman Chambers and members of the NACFB board at a forum designed to outline the Association’s progress and look ahead to future development.

This was only the second Members Day in 2017 and precedes similar forums taking place in Birmingham and Manchester in October. These events form part of a journey that the NACFB is taking in efforts to become “more transparent, inclusive and engaged” Chairman Paul Goodman outlined.

The London Members Day therefore provided a platform to discuss key issues face-to-face, and in the Association’s 25th year, roadmap a plan for future growth with the support and understanding of the membership.

The open and frank discourse between the head office team, NACFB board and members provided lively debate and constructive feedback. Some matters could be quickly addressed, such as offering more time at the end of the annual AGM for members to ask questions. Other matters that arose are in the process of being addressed; Members expressed their desire to have a greater clarity of communications from the NACFB and more distinctly tailored messages to each broker sector. To this, the NACFB have brought in a new communications manager who is tasked with helping narrow any messaging gap between the NACFB and its Members whilst increasing engagement levels.

The event provided an opportunity for members to express how they saw the role of the NACFB in relation to their businesses. “The most important thing for me is that the NACFB helps us not to screw up” proposed one member, another saw the role of the Association as “…protecting the broker market, and speaking clearly on behalf of broker members.” The team and board acknowledged that the NACFB needs to more clearly communicate how it benefits brokers whilst rethinking the tone of voice used in correspondence – a kindly reminder that we are, and will remain, a member-driven Association.

With GDPR on the regulatory horizon, compliance matters prompted much discussion among the members. Members agreed that an increasing FCA squeeze is a genuine cause for concern. Norman Chambers addressed these concerns and directed members to the NACFB Compliance Services team and their workshops, specifically designed to help support and advise our broker membership. There are a further ten such NACFB Compliance Services workshops scheduled in 2017, be sure to register your attendance and stay ahead of the regulatory curve.

Vice-Chairman Adrian Coles further developed on the announcement at this year’s CFE that the Association has completed a review of its internal governance structure. Adrian spoke of this ongoing process and the bid to gain a better grasp of what Members would want to see from the Association in the future, as well as how board restructuring can benefit an NACFB that is growing in both scale and complexity. The board is enthusiastic to implement the review findings to form part of a succession plan, new blood and fresh faces bring new ideas and insight to the Association.

How can the NACFB work better to help your business? The team are listening and would welcome your thoughts and feedback at the next Members Day in Birmingham (9th October) and Manchester (24th October). The events are free and you can register online via www.nacfb.org/events