Q&A with Paul Goodman NACFB Chair

The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) wants to become “the professional association of choice for all commercial finance brokers, lenders servicing business borrowers and property investors”. Its Chair, Paul Goodman, tells us more about the association and gives his invoice finance predictions for 2019.  

How long have you been on the NACFB board?

“Nine years, I’ve been Chair for five. The Association has evolved massively from having four staff above a shop in Exeter to now having 12 staff and premises in central London. Personally, I’ve worked in accountancy and corporate finance for 30 years and set up Goodman Corporate Finance in 2006.”

What is the NACFB?

“It’s the largest independent trade body for introducers and is made up of 1,649 commercial brokers from 896 Member firms. We have 141 lender Patrons on our panel, and our key aim is to facilitate dialogue and engagement between Members and Patrons – ultimately helping UK SMEs to prosper.”

Who can join the NACFB?

“Members must hold FCA permissions, have a data protection licence and professional indemnity insurance. Full membership is for established brokers who can provide offers of loans, bank and lender references. Associate membership is for brokers who are just starting to trade. Subscription is £720 a year for a business with one Registered Individual (ie someone who gives advice and signs deals). Each additional Registered Individual (RI) costs an extra £210.”

What are the key membership benefits?

“We provide wide-ranging compliance support and discounted access to various services, from insurance and credit checking to marketing and web support. We also ensure that brokers meet our minimum standards through bespoke workshops and remote learning.”

Why should introducers join the NACFB?

“As well as the direct membership benefits, the Association is now in its 27th year and has become an established pillar of the industry. When dealing with lenders and SMEs, there’s tremendous value to be gained from belonging to a recognised and trusted community that upholds professional standards.”

Please tell us about the NACFB Commercial Finance Expo?

“It will take place on 19 June 2019 at Birmingham’s NEC. Registration opens on Monday 4 February. The Expo has become the headline event on the UK commercial finance calendar. It’s free to anyone with an interest in commercial finance and 2019’s event will host a wider spread of exhibitors.

Why should brokers attend?

“It’s one of the few places where brokers can see all their lenders and funders under the same roof on the same day. We’ve increased capacity to accommodate the greater volume of delegates and exhibitors. The quality of the educational workshops is reason alone to attend and our speakers can offer direct support and advice. We also hold other training days and roundtable events throughout the year.”

Are you optimistic for the UK corporate finance industry this year?

“I’m really optimistic. There’s been a big uptake in invoice finance and that will increase – asset-based lending in general will flourish. We’re living in uncertain times, but we’ve been here before in 2008. For small businesses, there’s no better way to sweat your assets than invoice finance."

So you don’t really see Brexit having any major impact?

“There may be a hiatus. There is fear of the unknown – but it reminds me of the Millennium Bug. There was all that drama beforehand, but people woke up the next day and everything was OK. Whatever happens, businesses will still need cash. Lenders and brokers have a duty to better communicate the key benefits of invoice finance, because it’s such a great cash flow solution for UK SMEs.”