AMI and CFB announce strategic alliance

The alliance will see the CFB wind-up its activities and become the Association of Finance Brokers (AFB), a sister trade body to AMI.

The Corporation of Finance Brokers was formed in 1982 as a voluntary self-regulating organisation representing the needs of intermediaries in the secured loans market. Under the new alliance, CFB members will benefit from increased profile and opportunity to influence the future of second charge lending. In addition they will enjoy the superb AMI infrastructure including dedicated policy experts, help desk support, regular industry updates and networking opportunities with the regulators.

AMI was launched three years ago as a division of the Association of Independent Financial Advisers (AIFA), to help champion the cause of professional mortgage intermediaries. In that time it has grown to represent around 80% of all professional mortgage intermediaries and has become the recognised voice of the industry.

Chris Cummings, director general of AMI and AIFA, said: “We are delighted to welcome the CFB and its members to the AMI and AIFA family. We recently surveyed AMI members and the results proved the need for this alliance:

- 44% of AMI members already offer secured loan advice

- This figure is predicted to grow to 66% in the next 12 months

- 63% of members said they would look to AMI for assistance in understanding the regulation of the secured loan market

- 70% of members felt FSA should regulate the secured loan market (for loan products as well as PPI)

“Given these statistics, it is natural that AMI should extend its service to members by lobbying for their interests in the secured loan market. By working with the CFB, and setting up its successor, the AFB, we can help existing members as well as providing regulatory and trade body support for secured loan advisers too.”

Steve Walker, chairman of the CFB, said: “This is a new stage in the development of our trade body. The creation of the AFB allows us to step up the lobbying work members need us to undertake to protect the interests of the secured loan market at this time of great change. AMI and AIFA are recognised champions of the intermediary cause and the expertise in our field and extra members we are bringing means that a stronger, united voice will be able to speak out on behalf of professional intermediaries across the financial services market.”

A legal agreement has been signed to bring the CFB into the trade body and create a new body: the AFB. This will have its own elected divisional board, made up of practitioners from the industry. As with AIFA and AMI, the Rt Hon John Gummer MP will become the AFB’s Chairman and Chris Cummings will serve as Director General. The plans are subject to approval by the CFB’s members and a special resolution will be put to them at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held in May

The AFB will also be a division of AIFA, and will focus on the particular needs of the secured loan intermediary, in the way that AMI has focused on mortgage intermediaries lobbying and representational requirements.