What does FIBA hope to accomplish that has not already been done before?
First, we want to support the broker, lender and professional community engaged in specialist property finance, which includes development finance, short-term/bridging finance, commercial mortgages, specialist BTL and second charge finance for business purposes.
Second, to provide our members and partners with unique and exclusive arrangements that they would not be able to achieve on their own — simply the benefits of a large network available to all at minimum cost.
Third, we are representing and providing the voice of the specialist property finance industry by taking our members’ message to Westminster, HM Treasury, British Business Bank, UK Finance and the FCA.
Finally, and equally important, we are raising standards within the industry and providing customers with the peace of mind that FIBA members are committed to placing customer needs at the centre of all they do.
How do your lender and partner panels differentiate from each other?
Our lender panel is scrutinised on application to ensure that the highest standards of customer care and a commitment to transparency in communicating terms and conditions for loans, particularly in relation to charges, are met.
In support of our members’ business growth, we have a significant, but handpicked, lender panel representing the breadth of the real estate sectors, many of which are not generally available to broker firms without the provision of minimum volumes.
Too many brokers and lenders have found to their cost, and that of their customers, that using a legal firm or surveyor without direct knowledge of the commercial sector can, in many cases, lead to unnecessary delay, additional cost and ultimately failure to complete.
FIBA operates a professional partner panel consisting of legal firms and surveyors, who have joined because they have the dedicated expertise in the commercial sector. Our panel of vetted professional firms is particularly popular with our members.
What other benefits can members have access to?
In addition to the many exclusive benefits that FIBA members can access is an exclusive, highly competitive professional indemnity insurance scheme that has already succeeded in meeting the needs and requirements of brokers in a significantly cost-effective manner.
- B&C roundtable: Are hybrid offerings an opportunity or necessity?
- FIBA adds The Bridging Group to lender panel
- FIBA appoints Blacks Connect to its professional partners panel
As a trade body, FIBA provides the voice of its members, which is heard at the highest levels of government and other bodies. As head of FIBA, I’m committed to ensuring that it represents the views of its membership to influence, inform and offer advice on future potential legislation and support SME sector funding.
In what form does FIBA provide compliance support services?
Members have the option to access a dedicated compliance support service on preferential terms, providing services that include an online compliance resource containing compliant advice documents, regulatory guidance, support for the business process and explanatory manuals detailing the background of relevant legislation.
In addition, they will receive:
- regular compliance updates on regulatory activity from the FCA, Bank of England and the Information Commission
- unlimited access to a compliance help desk to assist with any regulatory queries, either over the phone or via email
- onsite compliance visits/file reviews/fit and proper checks/training and competency services
- support for financial promotions and website compliance as well as complaints handling support
- extensive support for regulated firms affected by the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, which comes into effect on 9th December 2019
Ultimately, FIBA provides the kind of services that individual firms, either involved in specialist property finance or new to the sector, cannot replicate. Namely, access to a world-class lender panel, a strong voice in the corridors of power, an exclusive PI scheme, compliance support and a professional legal and surveying partner panel.
All of this is backed by the SimplyBiz Group, which leads the way in financial services distribution and intermediary support.
Individual membership is just £20 per month, giving members access to the lender panel, the professional partners panel, website, regular news and high-level compliance updates, monthly magazine and the right to add their voice to the ongoing lobbying effort.
In addition, and where relevant, the PI scheme and compliance services are available should members wish to avail themselves.
FIBA supports practitioners to help build a stronger, respected, independent advice sector and, through doing so, improve customer access to specialist property finance.