NACFB growth hits record levels
For the first time in its 24 year history, the NACFB now works with the direct support of over 820 commercial finance broking firms, that is around 1600 individual brokers proudly displaying the NACFB logo and membership certificates – another all-time record.
The association also works with 141 lenders and funders to business and this figure has nearly doubled since the previous peak in 2007. We have taken on ten new lenders since the start of the year, and that is despite turning down over 40 lenders in the last two years because they could not meet or were not ready for our entry criteria.
The NACFB is reaching these high figures not by relaxing membership standards, but by rigorously applying the best standards in the industry. We set the bar very high for transparency of funding lines and for processes and for that reason continue to turn down not only lenders, but brokers every week. We are forced to turn away these brokers who, for various reasons, fail to meet requirements such as holding professional indemnity insurance, providing suitable references, or signing up to our Unregulated Members’ Agreement in the few cases where Consumer Credit Permission cannot be granted.
We also constantly monitor our membership and once we passed the 31 of March deadline for those with Interim Permissions we could see that just sixteen of our members had missed the deadline. After further investigation that number came down into single figures, but we have suspended those brokers until they have the right permissions or have satisfied our unregulated member’s criteria.
Our growth in 2016 demonstrates the willingness of commercial finance brokers and lenders to achieve the highest professional standards and to seek a “badge of honour” that demonstrates these standards to SMEs. Our members last year wrote just under £16bn in new business and this year we are on target to match the all-time record £19.1bn. The 2016 survey figures are due to be published in the first week of September.
Since launching NACFB Compliance Services we have seen nearly one thousand broker firms (both members and non-members) gain FCA authorisation. The challenging goal for our association is to work with a larger-than ever membership to provide for all their regulatory needs – the first and best port of call.
Paul Goodman, chairman of the NACFB, said:
“The recent surge in growth is testimony to the great work that continues behind the scenes and is confirmation that the NACFB and our members continue to be the place to go for commercial finance. There are exciting times ahead as the association continues to influence the direction of regulatory travel to the benefit of our members, patrons and ultimately UK SME.”