NACFB Expo: Conference theatre agenda revealed

Boasting keynote speakers, interviews, and panel sessions

The NACFB Commercial Finance Expo returns for the thirteenth time to Birmingham’s NEC on Wednesday 14th June 2023.

At the heart of the UK’s largest intermediary-led business lending trade show is the conference theatre, where the illustrious Naga Munchetty will return to the helm once more. The day’s packed agenda can be found in full below.

With an exclusive keynote address from British Business Bank CEO, Louis Taylor, and the latest on business borrowing appetites from FSB Chair, Martin McTague, the theatre boasts views from across the full commercial lending spectrum.

NACFB managing director, Norman Chambers, said: “We have curated a diverse programme that delves into topics such as emerging lending technologies, regulatory fluctuations, market analysis, and strategies for growth in a rapidly evolving landscape.”

NACFB Expo – Conference Theatre Agenda 2023


11.00 – An NACFB welcome

With: Paul Goodman (Chair, NACFB)

Kicking-off proceedings, the NACFB Chair maps the Association’s journey so far, detailing a vaulting ambition for the future.


11.05 – Sponsor introduction from Allica Bank

With: Brandon Hall (Head of Sales – Broker Asset Finance, Allica Bank)

The NACFB’s 2023 headline sponsor shares a frontline perspective into the intermediary-led lending landscape and the ever-evolving lender/broker dynamic.


11.10 – Keynote address from the British Business Bank

With: Louis Taylor (CEO, British Business Bank)

The freshly appointed British Business Bank CEO casts a gaze over UK small business lending activity. From the evolution of government support schemes to regional funding challenges, expect unparalleled insight from Louis and a clear outlining of his vision of future lending support.


11.40 – Interview: Why are small businesses borrowing less?

With: Martin McTague (National Chair, Federation of Small Businesses)

After a protracted era of economic instability, international trade restrictions, and a pandemic, business borrowing levels are forecasted to decline in 2023. Keen to develop a clearer picture of borrowing from UK small business owners, Naga Munchetty is joined by the FSB’s national Chair to:

  • Discuss how macro-economic factors are impacting borrowing appetites of UK SMEs
  • Examine to what extent COVID loans schemes changed attitudes to business borrowing
  • Outline the role intermediaries can play in reducing the biggest barriers to finance


12.05 – Panel: Is the power of high-street lenders waning?


Charissa Chang (Business Relationship Manager, Allica Bank)

Roger Fenwick (Director, Mantra Capital)

James Holian (Managing Director – Business Banking & International Retail, NatWest)

Last year, 55% of lending to SMEs came from challenger and specialist banks, far exceeding lending by the major banks during the same period. During this session, the panellists will:

  • Examine to what extent high-street banks have lost their lending dominance
  • Discuss why the emergence of new lenders has changed the funding landscape
  • Speculate how the SME funding source blend will further evolve in the future


12.30 – Presentation: Decoding Artificial Intelligence: Commercial lending in a post-AI world

With: Dr Martin Goodson (Chief Scientist, Evolution AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is already being used in various areas of commercial finance, from fraud detection to customer service, and is likely to continue to play an increasingly important industry role. Lending in a post-AI world will likely herald increased automation, more personalised services, improved risk management, amid the wider disruption of traditional banking as we know it. Dr Goodson’s presentation will:

  • Share a live demonstration on how AI is currently being utilised within the lending process
  • Explain how AI differs from automation and map the possibilities developments could bring
  • Outline how AI and human-led interactions can harmonise to improve client outcomes


1.00 – Panel: Decentralised funding across a more United Kingdom


Theodora Hadjimichael (CEO, Responsible Finance)

Nicola Parker (Senior Business Manager, SWIG Finance)

Paul Wain (Director of Origination & Relationship Management, British Business Bank)

Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) are advancing increasing amounts of capital to small business borrowers, mostly outside of London and the South East. The expert panellists will:

  • Discuss how CDFIs have boosted the deployment of SME loans regionally
  • Analyse how their risk appetites differ from other commercial lenders
  • Examine the role commercial intermediaries can play to ensure fewer SMEs are denied finance


1.30 – Panel: Developing a broker manifesto for a lending revolution


Nicola Headlam (Economist, Red Flag Alert)

Jennifer Tankard (Principal, Invoice Finance and Commercial Finance, UK Finance)

Professor Trevor Williams (Economics Professor, University of Derby)

With a change of government likely, there is an opportunity to reassess economic priorities, placing small business empowerment at the heart of any industrial growth strategy. The esteemed expert panellists will:

  • Evaluate policy developments over the last decade and review their impact
  • Outline what changes they would like to see any new government introduce
  • Discuss the key elements that would underpin a broker-focused finance manifesto


2.00 – Presentation: How regulation can empower not impede brokers

With: Julie Ampadu (Director, Chameleon Compliance)

The regulation of UK financial services and markets has rarely been under as much scrutiny as in 2023. With the FCA’s Consumer Duty, reforms to the Consumer Credit Act, and the progress of the Financial Services & Markets Bill, the lending community maintains efforts to deploy capital against an ever-changing regulatory backdrop. Julie’s presentation will:

  • Speculate as to the biggest likely impacts of the latest regulatory and legislative waves
  • Examine developing themes supporting both industry innovation and consumer protection
  • Map the direction of travel and how the lending community can adapt to future changes

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard