By Adam Tyler, Chief Executive, NACFB.

The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) was established in 1992 to combat the rise of Advanced fee fraud which was threatening to tarnish the reputation of the of the commercial finance industry. The commercial finance industry is non-regulated, which is the primary reason for the establishment of the NACFB — to impose self-regulation.

The Association is now celebrating twenty years and in this time, it has achieved a huge amount and preserved the integrity of the industry. The NACFB Code of Practice is industry recognised and has now promoted best practice for nearly twenty years.

In the twenty years that the NACFB has existed, a great deal has been achieved to clean up the reputation of the industry that was unfortunately tarnished by a small minority of fraudsters, looking to take advantage of clients and businesses looking to source finance. The commercial finance industry is still non-regulated but the establishment of the NACFB’s Code of Practice and the work that it has carried out to educate commercial brokers and stamp down on fraud has improved the market dramatically.

In 2010, the NACFB set up the Fraud Intelligence Committee, which collated information on suspected Advanced Fee Fraud cases and passed the information to Government authorities. The FIC played a significant role in bringing these cases of fraud to light, and worked hard to highlight the misery that these fraudsters cause to businesses looking to source finance in a credit restricted climate.

The NACFB’s efforts to highlight the problem of AFF was mentioned in many publications in the industry press and also featured in the national media, with appearances on BBC radio and national newspapers.

The problem of Advanced Fee Fraud is still around and unprofessional brokers do still exist but the establishment of a Code of Practice for the industry and the work that the NACFB has carried out has been integral to ensuring that best practice is now firmly rooted in the industry. We may never be able to eliminate fraudsters altogether but an Association operating a Code of Practice and promoting professionalism amongst its membership can only serve to make the commercial market a safer place for businesses looking for funding.

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