NACFB launches membership drive
With the commercial mortgage sector continuing to grow, the NACFB hopes to attract more intermediaries to do commercial business and swell its ranks from the current 1,000 brokers to 5,000 in the next five years.
The association believes more brokers are looking to move into the commercial sector and it aims to aid them in the market.
Keith Heron, chief executive of the NACFB, said: “We think the time is right to increase our membership. The cost of compliance since the introduction of FSA regulation has been high and brokers are looking at other income streams for their business, including commercial business. This can be very lucrative if you do it right but the risks are also very high if you do it wrong, so we want to help.”
The NACFB is a self-regulated body which is backed by over 65 lenders, including HSBC, Commercial First and Bank of Scotland.
The organisation offers preferential treatment from lenders for members, and in the case of HSBC, will only do commercial business with members.
It also offers training in the commercial sector for brokers to help maintain standards within the industry.
Heron commented: “We’ve found that self-regulation has worked for us so we want to stop the further encroachment of direct regulation into the commercial mortgage sector. If we can educate intermediaries to make sure they are doing things right, the less complaints the industry will get from the Financial Services Authority (FSA).”
Jock Cassidy, managing director of Ashley Law, commented: “As regulation increases, more intermediaries will look to do commercial business as an easy method of making money. However, the NACFB’s policy of signing up people rather than companies makes it difficult to apply its standards across the wider commercial market.”