The Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA), trade body for the UK and Republic of Ireland’s invoice finance and asset based lending industry, has launched its self-regulatory framework and has also appointed Lucy Armstrong as chairperson of the newly-established Professional Standards Council (PSC).
Armstrong is chief executive officer (CEO) of The Alchemists, an organisation that works with high growth mid-sized corporates to accelerate their development and success by focusing on shareholder and management development and succession. She is also chair of Capital for Enterprise, responsible for over £4bn of UK government backed debt and equity support to UK private and family businesses.
“This new [ABFA] framework is about putting the interests of ABFA client businesses first,” said Armstrong. “Invoice finance and asset based lending are hugely important sources of finance for UK and Irish businesses. The new framework is part of an industry initiative to support more businesses in the future, providing a real alternative to traditional sources of finance.
“In a financial services environment under significant scrutiny, a new self-regulatory framework for the asset based finance industry is an important and responsible step forward. I look forward to playing my role in the evolution of the industry.”
The new self-regulatory framework is in force for ABFA members from 1 July and incorporates a revised ABFA code, based on six key principles around treating customers fairly and responsibly. The code and supporting guidance set clear expectations for members’ treatment of their clients. At the heart of the new framework is an independent complaints Process managed by the specialist dispute resolution organisation, Ombudsman Services.
The complaints process has been designed with a particular focus on supporting smaller businesses, with annual turnover of up to £6.5m. The framework ensures that these businesses will have an independent process to access if they believe they have been not been treated fairly.
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