Close Brothers Premium Finance urges brokers to ‘change gear’

Brokers ‘need to change gear and do their bit to bring about a full recovery in 2021’, says financial services organisation.

As lockdown restrictions ease in April, Close Brothers Premium Finance (CBPF) said brokers will play a key role in helping retail, hospitality and other industries get back on their feet.

Elliott Hayes, head of corporate at CBPF, said many businesses will need regular communications and sector-specific guidance from brokers on health and safety, risk management and legal and regulatory requirements.

He explained: “Brokers need to plan ahead with their clients, especially if, for example, the business is mulling whether to go back to its original model or continuing to offer a takeout service.

“If you’re in hospitality, you’ll be preparing for the easing of restrictions by looking at your supply chain, capacity and financial resilience, as well as your own staff resourcing and health and safety.”

Furthermore, cyber threats and issues around data protection are increasing due to the digitisation of businesses – brokers will also need to be able to provide advice to clients that have invested in technology during the pandemic.

Hayes added: “Broker communications with clients have generally been excellent during the past year. Now, as the economy stands on the threshold of an exciting phase of renewed growth, broking must shift focus.

“From staying resilient in lockdown, brokers need to change gear and do their bit to bring about a full recovery in 2021.”

Preparation

Hayes noted that if the UK and Irish economics rebound and businesses invest again, a new option for premium finance will be created as a result

He said: “Corporates that spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on insurance can benefit by spreading their premium payments.

“Brokers should be reassured that we have not significantly changed our credit appetite.

“We have not altered our lending criteria and we have not barred certain sectors from credit. Brokers need to know that their finance provider can support them through the cycle.”

Another element that brokers should reportedly prepare for is an increase in enquires and workload.

Founded in 1977, CBPF partners with over 1,600 brokers in the UK and Ireland. It aims to help more than 3 million businesses and customers spread the cost of their insurance premiums.