More training and investment in young people
is needed to ensure the future of the asset finance broker
industry, business leaders have said.
Following the National Association of
Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) conference this week industry
members have called for widespread professional training to bring
in young people and modernise the business.
Don Hirst, head of brokers at Aldermore, said
the broker industry was getting old and needs to introduce new
blood in an address at the NACFB conference in Birmingham.
“The challenge for the broker market is
succession,” he said.
“The market is getting older; individuals are
heading towards their early fifties but who are the next
generation? Where are they going to come from?”
The majority of brokers working now received
training from banks but with fewer banks growing asset finance
sales teams who could then work in the broker market, introducing
young people to the industry is a problem, said Hirst.
Adam Tyler, chief executive of NACFB, agreed
and said the trade association were looking to create a recognised
qualification in asset finance and leasing and said a training
standard was vital to ensure succession.
“What we need is training and education and
that means a qualification. We have been working with the Finance
and Leasing Association (FLA) to provide a qualification for the
asset finance industry,” said Tyler.
Hirst’s call was also welcomed by Allan Ross
of First Independent Finance who said training young people was
vital to grow the industry.
“The industry needs to train people –
customers will get a better service and finance companies will get
better service and less risk,” said Ross.
He added: “Companies themselves will have a
better turnover of staff and be more competitive and therefore, at
the end of the day, make more money.”
Ross said difficult times in the industry has
lead to a dearth of training investment but said it was down to
individual companies as well as industry bodies to provide
“Training is one of the first things to get
when businesses start to struggle.
“Businesses aren’t putting in the resources to
do any training and most people in the finance industry are not
changing very quickly.
Adapting to change in industry was also of
concern to Hirst who said the majority of SME decision makers, the
industry’s main clients, were now less than 35 years old, but, he
said, broker business practice was not adjusting to younger working
“We need to think about how we present
ourselves to the market differently; you might always have done
this by having a coffee and a chat but [these decision makers] are
online, on Twitter and Facebook.”
He asked: “Are we thinking about where we will
do business in the next 10 years?”
Tyler said a proportion of brokers were
adapting but added some where struggling to or were reluctant to
All three agreed training and modernisation
were vital to the industry and Ross added it was down to individual
businesses as well as trade bodies to implement change.
He said: “The NACFB should be looking at it
but they have got to convince others in the industry to do it
“If you run a business it is your
responsibility to make sure your staff are trained to do the job
you ask them to do.”
“Investing in young people is something for us
all to do. It is absolutely relevant for our industry right