Asset Based Finance

Asset Based Finance

In the absence of FCA regulation of commercial lending the move by ABFA to tackle abuses and promote fair dealing by imposing a code of practice on its Members backed by an independent Professional Skills Council is at least a step in the right direction.

The PSC is to deal with the Code and complaints about ABFA members. I hope ABFA members embrace the spirit of the Code and that ABFA becomes a badge of fair dealing. ABLs could be funding many more businesses and needs to become an industry British business can trust.

Obviously it remains to be seen how these changes work in practice but their introduction shows the willingness of part of the industry to tackle abuses and promote best practice. It seems to amaze many that commercial lending per se is unregulated and whilst the FCA requires a high duty of care by financial advisors to "unsophisticated investors" the FCA does not regulate this area (save in banking) so the unsophisticated borrower is on his or her own. We are, if not a nation of shopkeepers, still a nation of SMEs, and lending documents, exposure to being forced into insolvency, and headline charges which may apply, should be clear and fair. The termination fee issues which arise in cases of abuse are something the industry needs to address as do IPs when appointed. ABFA members recognise the need to do something at least.

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About the author:

Frances gained her LLB (Hons) at Kings’ College, London University in 1983. She then attended Chester College of Law to take what were then the Solicitors’ Final Examinations. She has been at Moon Beever since 1984 where she trained, qualifying in 1986, and a partner since 1988 becoming Managing Partner in 2000. She is also a founder partner of ShawnCoulson, an international association, of which Moon Beever is the London office. She is Head of Insolvency and Business Recovery at Moon Beever running a substantial team of insolvency specialists. She undertakes most areas of personal and corporate insolvency, specialising in contentious insolvency especially cases involving fraud, as well as provisional liquidations and injunctive work generally.

She is Chairman of the Appeal Committee at ACCA and a member of the Insolvency Law Evaluation Panel at the Insolvency Service, and CBI Insolvency Panel as well as a member of Insol, and the IBA and, veering towards the personal, of the NFU, and the Carlton Club.

Frances is a regular speaker in the UK and abroad on insolvency and practice management.

Frances was formerly Chairman of the SPG Committee of R3, the Insolvency trade body representing 97% of licensed insolvency practitioners. She is President of R3 for 2011-2012, and remains a member of its R3 Policy Group.

She is interested in all things equestrian as are her three daughters and her husband, and spends her free time (such as it is) with her family and other animals, riding and trying to improve her strokes at Real Tennis.