A quarterly update from NACFB Chair, Paul Goodman.
At the beginning of the first lockdown, I bought a bike. It was great for the road and, on colder days, I could attach it to rollers in the garage that would transform it into an indoor cycling machine. Whilst pedalling away amongst the paint cans and garden furniture, there were occasions when the process felt like an apt metaphor: all that expended time and energy, with little forward movement.
Now though, I am back on the road and we are starting to move forward. The future is looking a lot more positive, and dare I say it, we seem to be moving steadily along the road to recovery. This renewed momentum, fuelled by measures such as the vaccine roll-out, means that we can all start to think more positively about the future.
The NACFB community will travel this road together. Our growing network of finance professionals have already been on a journey beside thousands of SMEs. Last year alone we helped originate £27.3 billion of lending across the whole commercial spectrum, and this year we will all want to do even more.
Your trade body is shifting through the gears too. Since the start of the year, the Association has launched two new engagement groups, the Members’ Advisory Group (MAG) and the Patrons’ Engagement Group (PEG). These respective steering committees are exclusively comprised of the NACFB’s primary stakeholders, our Members and Patrons. Inaugural meetings have taken place and the feedback has been very positive. Their insight, experience and guidance will be helping to steer your trade body throughout the year.
After some unavoidable false starts, the biggest intermediary trade show is back. The phoenix-like NACFB Commercial Finance Expo will return to Birmingham’s NEC on Thursday 30th September 2021. I will not run through the statistics for how and why it is the biggest trade show of its kind, you already know that – its reputation speaks for itself. Attendance remains free and with over 100 stands already secured, only limited exhibition space is still available.
NACFB Members helped facilitate £6.1 billion worth of CBILS arrangements last year, and in just a few weeks, all three government schemes will end. They will however be superseded by the Recovery Loan Scheme, which is set to amalgamate all three schemes into one. The Association’s Morning Briefing is your first port of call for all updates and we will be sharing full details and guidance for Members ahead of the RLS launch.
We have now had a few weeks to digest some of the other elements of the Chancellor’s Budget. The Association welcomed many aspects of his plan to drive jobs, growth, and investment to help the economy rebound. Whilst some of the items from the NACFB’s Budget wish list were addressed, we have collated other key changes that are set to impact UK SMEs, brokers, and lenders here.
The cover feature in this month’s Commercial Broker magazine examines Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII), an issue very close to all of our hearts. The NACFB’s Managing Director; Norman Chambers seeks to address Members’ PII concerns and highlights why – despite the wider market conditions – PII remains a crucial element of broker professionalism.
Through all of our endeavour’s we have been Moving Britain Forward. SMEs will still rely on us to lead from the front, but we should all be mindful of false dawns. The aftershocks of the pandemic will continue to reverberate for many months to come. Businesses that have survived through government support this far, may have been sheltered from the realities of the pandemic.
The NACFB community will continue to be at the heart of UK plc. Our collective guidance, expertise and experience means that we are best placed to steer our clients through these challenging times. The NACFB is here for you and is determined that you have the right tools for the job.