New stronger guidance from brokerage association will be compulsory for BMF members

Brokerage firms will be forced to comply with new guidance from the Boat Retailers and Brokerage Association (BRBA) or give up their membership of the British Marine Federation (BMF).

New guidelines announced today by the BRBA – an association of the BMF – regarding the handling of customers’ monies are designed to increase the robustness of the system, boost consumer confidence and help promote the use of brokerage to buy and sell boats.

The updated guidance issued by the BMF now calls for brokerage firms to have a separate client account in which to hold clients monies during the brokerage process. The guidance is applicable to all brokerage companies who are BMF members and will be enforced by means of an obligation on firms to declare annually that the necessary arrangements are in place. This guidance will become the ‘best practice’ for buying and selling boats via the brokerage process.

In order to help members adapt to the updated code, the BMF has sent out a step by step instruction guide and guidance. This covers issues including writing to banks to make the necessary arrangements and the deadlines for implementation. Failure to comply with the new clause will result in the loss of BMF membership with the aim of protecting customers and maintaining the industry’s integrity.

Dominic Smulders, Chairman of the BRBA said:

“This new system follows a lengthy period of discussion about how we might best strengthen the trust of consumers and once again helps promote brokerage as an attractive option for buying and selling second hand boats. I am confident that the updated code will help both industry and buyers do business in confidence.

Rob Stevens, Chief Executive of the BMF added:

“The BMF and BRBA are committed to providing the highest levels of customer service and with that, protecting customers now and in the future. This is why we have reacted to what was a perceived weakness in the market to create a system which reassures members and customers alike. I call on members to adhere to this new revision of the code of practice.”