The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) has seen individual broker and commercial finance firm membership grow in 2020.
The NACFB said as of July it has 1,104 commercial finance firms on its books, which represents a 9% increase on last year.
It has also surpassed 2,000 registered individuals, which represents an 11% increase on this time last year and is an all-time high for the 28-year-old Association.
“The NACFB has grown by an extra 90 membership firms in 2020 alone, ensuring that it remains by far the largest independent trade body dedicated solely to commercial finance professionals,” according to the Association.
According to the NACFB, 24% of its registered individual commercial brokers identify asset finance and leasing as their primary area of business.
In the UK today, there are around 450 firms active in the asset finance space, of which 350 are specialist asset finance broking firms, according to a UK broker directory compiled by Asset Finance Policy.
The news of the NACFB’s strengthening membership comes as the Association’s four-month membership fee moratorium comes to an end, announced in the wake of the government’s decision to go into an economic lockdown.
In late March the NACFB said: “To provide an immediate and direct lifeline for brokers, the Association will not be running direct debits for membership fees, nor will it seek to latterly accrue payment.”
In a statement this week the NACFB said: “In total, the freeze on membership fees for existing members has saved each firm a minimum of £240 throughout the lockdown period.”
Also in March 2020, the NACFB said it had instructed its team of 16 to work from home as its headquarters – located at 33 Eastcheap EC3M 1DT – would be closed “until further notice”.
An assessment on when staff could return to office-working will be made in Q3, the NACFB said.
On its membership growth, Norman Chambers, managing director the NACFB, said: “To see such continued growth in our membership, as well as our members’ continued eagerness to engage with Patreon members, demonstrates two things.
“Firstly, that resilience is not just a by-word for riding out a challenging period, our members truly have the staying power to service their clients in the toughest of times. Secondly, it is clear that more and more brokerages are appreciating the value of being recognised and accredited by a national and independent trade body.”