Member Guidelines

The ABFA's history spans back to 1976 with the creation of the Association of British Factors (ABF) by subsidiaries of the UK Banks. A few years later the smaller, privately owned Factors formed the Association of Invoice Factors (AIF) to discuss and debate common areas of interest and issues which affected them. As the industry changed and invoice discounting became the predominant product, the ABF changed its name to the Association of British Factors and Discounters (ABFD). In September 1996, the ABFD merged with the AIF and formed UK chapter of the Commercial Finance Association (CFA) to become the Factors and Discounters Association (FDA). The name change to the Asset Based Finance Association (ABFA) took place in 2007 to more effectively reflect the representation of all elements of the industry.

ABFA Objective

To promote and represent the interests of the ABFA membership in a national and global environment.

Membership Criteria

There are four criteria for joining the Association, they are:

  1. The company is established in the UK or Republic of Ireland;
  2. The company derives income from the provision of factoring or discounting of debts or any other form of receivables financing or asset based finance and commercial or trade finance, which can include financing of stock, work in progress, imports or exports;
  3. The company has a net worth in excess of £250,000;
  4. The company must declare that all sums contractually due from it to each of its clients can be paid without being affected by any third-party rights.

Prior to joining, and at each renewal thereafter, the company is required to confirm compliance with various procedures and documents. The requirements are as follows:

  1. Submission of Annual Audited Accounts;
  2. The principal ABFA contact should complete a Fit and Proper Person Certificate in a form provided by the ABFA’s Professional Standards Council (enclosed);
  3. To agree to comply with the ABFA Articles of Association (enclosed); Guidelines for Inter Member Transfers (copy will be supplied once membership has been approved), Anti-Bribery Policy and Competition Law (enclosed);
  4. Confirm acceptance of the protocols outlined within the guidance relating to public sector procurement with the Scottish Government and the UK Government;
  5. For Members whose net worth is below £1m, then that Member must issue a statement upon application and on renewal each year confirming that the member has carried out a robust assessment of the principal risks facing its business, including those that would threaten its solvency or liquidity. In the ABFA annual return the directors should confirm that they have carried out such an assessment and explain how the principal risks are being managed or mitigated. They should indicate, if any, material uncertainties in relation to the company’s ability to continue to adopt the going concern basis.

Membership Requirements

ABFA Members are required to sign up to the ABFA Code of Conduct and self-regulatory framework. Members are also required to declare their acceptance of the ABFA complaints policy in respect of clients turning over £6.5m or less. A copy of the Code and Guidance are enclosed, and further details of the Code, Complaints Process and Professional Standards Council can be found on the ABFA website here.

Applying for Membership

In terms of cost for full Members, the annual fee applicable is directly related to how many staff you have subject also to minimum gross income.  This fee is payable on a pro rata basis for Members joining mid-year. Annual fees are charged in January each year.

Please bear in mind that the membership fee covers additional costs relating to self-regulation, an independent complaints handling service (which is free of charge to clients), and remuneration costs associated with the Professional Standards Council, an independent body overseeing the ongoing development of the self-regulatory framework. 

All applications for membership are considered by the ABFA Professional Standards Council. The process will normally take a few weeks.

For further information and to apply for membership, please contact