In the United Kingdom, all incorporated companies are required, by law, to file their accounts at the registrant of companies, which in the case of the United Kingdom, is Companies House – so here is a great place to start.
Companies House is great if you known the name or company number of the company you are looking at, of you do not it can be challenging to say the least. That is where DataGardener plays a vital role of aggregating the financial data held at Companies House into a database where you can search for and access the company information.
DataGardener allows the user to build lists of companies using financial data, geographical data and numerous other parameters.
If a commercial finance broker is working with a company to help them raise finance or consulting generally, they will usually be privy to the data they need.
If they are merely a prospect for the broker, then the broker needs to undertake some analysis of them in the first instance. Often brokers will go to Companies House or DataGardener to source this financial data.
Commercial finance brokers are fantastic at developing relationships and this is often the most valuable source of any information. They will have relationships with accountants, lawyers and other specialists that will refer clients to them if they need their services.
However, it is often the case that brokers will try to go direct to the market since they have a particular specialism or industry experience. In this instance DataGardener is used to build prospect lists using financial parameters, location filters and charges / debenture information to inform businesses that they are there to help
A finance broker acts as an intermediary who arranges finance – like term loans, asset finance, invoice finance, trade finance, bridging finance and all manner of other lending – on behalf of businesses.
Historically, banks and other lending institutions have sold their own products but as markets for commercial lending have become more competitive the role of the commercial finance broker has become more important.
Businesses looking for a lending solution to a particular need do not necessarily have the time and inclination to try and find the appropriate solution. Commercial Finance Brokers will act on behalf of the client to find the best solution and product for them.
Commercial finance is a broad term given to a vast range of business finance products that include short-term and long-term finance solutions, offered by a provider external to the business.
Historically, the finance provider was a bank or traditional lender, but with the emergence of the crowdfunding, peer-to-peer and alternative lenders(disruptors) the commercial finance market has changed somewhat in recent years. Commercial finance brokers have become increasingly important in helping businesses navigate the many (and often overwhelming) options ahead of them.
The NACFB is the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers.
The association has over 2,000 commercial finance brokers that cover the whole of the United Kingdom. Member of the NACFB are required to have Full or Limited Consumer Credit Permission, Professional Indemnity Insurance, a Data Protection Licence and a strong track record with nationally recognised lenders.
Essentially, they are the trade body that many Commercial Finance Brokers belong to and a great source of information. They can help businesses find a broker that can help them within their locality or area or specialism.