Freedom hails AFB formation

The AFB will supersede the Corporation of Finance Brokers (CFB) and become a sister trade body to the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) if the proposal is agreed at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 25 May.

Freedom Finance has backed the move and said it will resign its membership to the Finance Industry Standards Association (FISA) to become part of AFB.

Tony Machin, group managing director at Freedom Finance, said: “The formation of the AFB as a sister trade body to AMI is an excellent development, which deserves the support of every broker involved in the loans market. For too long, loan brokers have been without an effective trade body to represent their views and lobby on their behalf.

“I strongly urge all members of the CFB, which will be wound-up to become the AFB, to support this important move. Non-CFB members should also support this initiative”

Chris Cummings, director-general of AMI, heeded caution ahead of a final decision being made, but confirmed the AFB, if formed, would seek dialogue with FISA regarding secured loan issues.

He said: “The formation of the AFB has not yet been approved so the AFB does not therefore have a policy regarding FISA. I can confirm, however, that if the AFB is approved on 25 May, I will be keen to talk to FISA to discuss the many issues facing the industry.”

John Smith, sales and marketing director at GHL Group, said: “It’s a good idea as it’s an unregulated activity and, at some point, the FSA will have a look at it. Therefore, to have a trade body in place will be a good thing.

“The second charge sector has had bad press historically and if having a trade body behind it will help that, it can only be good.”