Reports are reaching the Exeter head office of the Association of brokers potentially purporting to be lenders or charging large, upfront fees without actually ever intending to help fund a proposal. Chief Executive of the NACFB, Adam Tyler, said that there had been an increasing number of calls to the NACFB head office from consumers complaining about certain brokers’ tactics.
He said: “I have taken a number of calls in the last few months from consumers that feel they have been effectively “ripped off” by individuals and companies representing our industry. This is a throwback to the late eighties and early nineties and is threatening the reputation of all commercial finance brokers. I am concerned that a small number of incidences will undo all the hard work of the last two decades and could eventually bring about regulation. The amounts involved in up front fees can amount to thousands of pounds. The NACFB’s advice to the consumer who finds themselves in this situation is not to deal with a broker who tries this kind of tactics, but only to deal with NACFB members who operate within the Association’s Code of Practice.
Adam Tyler continued: “The NACFB wants to investigate any complaints which are received about both member and non members. The Association was set up combat advanced fee among brokers. The current difficult economic conditions have led some firms to demand large amounts of money for no guarantee of any kind of service from clients who are vulnerable because they are desperate for some kind of financial assistance. The Association takes a very dim view of these kinds of activities and is now forming a separate committee which will include members of the relevant authorities. The aim of this body will be to investigate any reports of fraudulent activity within our industry and to decide how to ensure that any illegal practices can be stopped. This will include working with the police, the Office of Fair Trading and government bodies, so that the reputation of the commercial financial industry is not damaged by the actions of a few.”