The next big thing in commercial finance

by Madison Utley12 Oct 2020

The Commercial & Asset Finance Brokers Association of Australia has just launched the CAFBA Education Council to oversee the structure, content and delivery of education in the commercial finance sector – in a bid to both further professionalise the industry, as well as attract a new generation of talent.

According to David Gill, CAFBA CEO, the need for standardised education and designated credentials is crucial to maintaining the high standard of the industry and staving off external regulation, particularly in the aftermath of the royal commission.

Further, CAFBA’s research has found that Gen Y and millennials are attracted to professions which offer a credential and structured career path.

“The formation of this Education Council has brought all the major financiers together to head in one direction and get the right curriculum for commercial finance,” said Gill.

“For our industry, that’s a huge step; all the lenders, the broker association, the finance industry association which represents the lenders, they’re all on board with this curriculum to help newcomers into the industry and set more solid education standards.”

The Council’s first endeavour will be to establish a prestigious professional designation – the Certified Lease and Finance Professional (CLFP) – with post nominals.

“We’ve been talking to the Certified Lease and Finance Professional Foundation in the US, which has a post nominal you can study for and obtain. It’s similar to an accountant who has a CPA; if you’re in commercial finance in the US and you have a CLFP, basically, you’re educated and you know what you’re doing,” explained Gill.

“The CLFP designation is the preeminent credential for equipment leasing and financing professionals throughout the world who have demonstrated competency through testing of knowledge, continuing education and a commitment to their business practices and dedication to the industry.

“It’s being rolled out in Canada and India. It’s going around the world, so we’ll be part of an international standard with that,” he added.

The CLFP will enhance the professionalism of the industry within Australia through requiring additional development and training; to maintain the professional accreditation, there will be required annual updates and certified professional development activities. 

The Australianised version of the US Certified Lease and Finance Professional course will complement CAFBA’s two other courses: the Certificate IV in Financial Services (FNS41815): Specialising in Commercial & Asset Finance and its Diploma of Financial Services (FNS51815) Complex Issues in Commercial Lending.

The CAFBA Education Council has teamed up with the Institute of Strategic Management, the industry recognised RTO who will deliver the programs.

The Council will be led by CAFBA board member Terry Moody as chair and Rob Ryan, head of FAST in NSW, ACT and QLD, as vice chair.

Together, they will oversee the adaptation and work with the CLFP Foundation in the US to ensure compliance and provide final approval.

“By bringing industry together to have a co-ordinated approach and recognised curriculum, we will truly set commercial finance on the path to being a profession,” said Moody.

“There is a real advantage of having and being part of a recognised international designation.”

The Education Council will be made up of the following participants, who will set the course for commercial education into the future:

Foundation Partners – CAFBA, FAST, CBA, NAB, Westpac, ScotPac, AFG, Get Capital, Flexi Commercial, Macquarie Bank, Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA)

Strategic Partners – ANZ, BOQ, Classic Funding, Zip, NFC Aggregation

Industry Partners –  PLAN, Judo

The Council will continually review content in all courses to ensure compliance, relevance and continued development, and investigate a structured mentoring program to ensure any new entrant is capable to effectively deliver the commercial finance product.

“The CLFP is locked in as our first course of action, but we’ll be rolling out other courses as well. Once the Council convenes and we get some governance protocols, we can decide which direction to move in next as an industry,” Gill finished.