It was great to be invited by Santander to Ayr for the horse races in early July. The NACFB got to sponsor a couple of races, and the horse we backed came in a winner, which would have been excellent news if only we had staked more than two pounds on the bet.
The winnings may only have bought a couple of hot dogs with extra mustard, but meanwhile, NACFB members were busy writing a total of £1 billion per month. News of this milestone spread fast. Approximately £200 million of that is leasing and asset finance deals, though that’s an extrapolated figure while we wait for our survey results to come in.

Our friends and partners in the USA, the National Association of Leasing Equipment Brokers (NAELB), have spent the last year evolving in parallel with the NACFB. As the USA’s largest association for equipment leasing brokers, the NAELB now offers a leasing broker school that involves one week of training followed by twelve months of arm’s-length mentoring. Although we’re not in a position to focus so exclusively on the asset finance side of things, we are nevertheless able to match that with our NACFB Compliance Services. The whole regulatory environment is rather more stable across the Atlantic, so our brokers are facing challenges that their Californian and Hawaiian cousins needn’t worry about, not least of which is the relative paucity of good surfing this time of year.
NACFB Compliance Services is the biggest new NACFB initiative of 2014, built from scratch by technical experts, and we consider it important enough even to give it a new shiny red logo all of its own.

Compliance Services is a full package of software, guidance and seminars. The software is designed to become second nature fairly quickly, because brokers will be using it more or less every day. It will allow brokers to carry out their usual business in the certainty that they’re complying with the relevant regulations, and with the full transparency that the FCA requires. We believed and still believe that these regulatory decisions would be better made by commercial finance brokers. That’s precisely why we’ve decided to get involved and remain involved.

Brokers are being called forward by the FCA over the next two years to complete the application process, but even after that period, we’ll continue to sign up new brokers and they will turn to us for guidance, and we’ll have Compliance Services ready and waiting.

The audit for each member of NACFB Compliance Services will be sponsored by four of our Patrons who are supporting this initiative. They are Shawbrook Bank, Investec, Aldermore and Close Brothers Asset Finance. By the time you read this, we’ll have popped up in Elstree, Newport, Brentwood, Leicester, Chester, Gatwick and our old happy hunting ground of Exeter.

Not only will this big initiative help our members with Consumer Credit Act regulation, we will also help them prepare for any subsequent requirements that may be required from Commercial Finance Brokers in the future. The FCA, in trying to come up with a package that helps enormous numbers of disparate brokers, has found it cannot offer clear personalised guidance to each one, and we’re not expecting that situation to change any time soon. We’re in a good position to help, because we start with an advantage; we know our members already, and as more information trickles in from the survey, we’re only going to get to know them better.

Adam Tyler is chief executive of the NACFB