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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.