The NACFB is acutely aware that, whilst our Members are encountering sometimes severe difficulties in the current climate as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, the same is true of the vast majority of businesses making up their client base.
The reputation and ethos of both the Association and its Members has always been one of fairness and transparency, which is perhaps even more important now than ever before. Our collective reputations could be irreversibly damaged should the perception be that Members have sought to make excessive profits from a very difficult situation which is affecting all businesses.
The NACFB has never been about telling its brokers how to run their businesses, except in ensuring prevailing mandatory regulations are adhered to. We continue to be here for Members, offering guidance on many issues but always ostensibly to best serve the reputation and resultant longevity of their businesses.
It is however important to highlight the obligations, both moral and regulatory, of all NACFB Members under the Treating Customers Fairly and Vulnerable Customer Policies of each Member firm in the context of this crisis.
We all need to be mindful that once this crisis has passed the actions of individuals and businesses will be assessed, so it is absolutely vital for all our reputations – and the future of the commercial broker industry – that Members are not seen to have been profiteering from the situation.
We therefore expect all firms to charge what would, upon detailed scrutiny, be adjudged by ‘a reasonable person’ as fair and justifiable; in both the context of the crisis itself and the nature, size and complexity of any case you submit to lenders under the CBILS scheme. We would also suggest that each Member retains evidence of the work they have undertaken, should their fees ever be challenged in the future.