Choosing a commercial finance broker
Commercial finance brokers have long played a critical role in getting vital finance through to Britain’s hard-pressed firms, and never more so than in the aftermath of the credit crunch.
Business finance brokers are a mixed bunch, and often lack the regulatory protections that we’re used to in personal financial matters — so it’s vital that you do your homework before entrusting the future of your business to one.
Funding Options is regulated by the FCA, rated "Excellent" by customers, and was named "Best Commercial Finance Broker" at the Commercial Finance Awards 2017, so you can feel safe in the knowledge that we treat all of our customers fairly.
Here’s a checklist of questions to ask any firm or individual that claims that they can get you the right business funding.
Do they have real customer case studies?
There’s little stopping an individual or website setting up as a commercial finance broker, so unfortunately the segment attracts many fly-by-night operations. Do they give named customer case studies you could easily pick up the phone to? Are they on an authoritative independent customer reviews site?
Sadly, we often see brokers with fake website case studies that use stock photography, or others claiming to have helped real businesses that they’ve really had no involvement with. Your business could provide real customer references, so why can’t they?
You can find all of our real case studies here, and see what our customers think of us on independent review site Trustpilot.
Are they regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)?
Many firms don’t realise that the business finance market is largely unregulated, meaning that it doesn’t necessarily offer the protections that we’re used to in our personal finance matters, such as a Financial Ombudsman, or an overarching obligation to Treat Customers Fairly.
Though many unregulated commercial finance brokers will provide excellent service, a regulated broker is surely a safer bet.
Funding Options is fully authorised and regulated by the FCA, and we support their Treating Customers Fairly initiative.
Do they actually specialise in business finance?
Many self-proclaimed commercial finance brokers will actually be specialists in another area of finance, such as residential mortgages or life insurance, but may still claim to be able to help you with business finance. For them, business finance is a side-of-the-desk activity at best, meaning nothing like the breadth and depth of knowledge required for the complex and ever-changing alternative finance market.
We call our staff Business Finance Specialists for a reason — they know the market better than anyone. Funding Options exists to help your firm find the best finance for your situation, quickly and easily, and that’s all we do!