'Absolute lack' of broker understanding leads to SMSF education initiative

by Kathleen Payne,Mackenzie McCarty05 Apr 2013

The SPAA’s new technical director, Graeme Colley, has announced a major SMSF education campaign aimed at brokers.

Colley, who takes over the position from former technical director, Peter Burgess, on Monday, tells Australian Broker he and colleague Liz Ward have developed a course for mortgage brokers and others in the finance industry interested in learning about SMSF’s.

“In the past we’ve done a lot of technical training for members, accountants and financial planners. [The new] course will be suitable for those people who don’t want to get heavily involved, but they want to understand what it is and how it operates.”

He says he disagrees with the argument that brokers should stay away from SMSF’s due to a risk of spreading themselves thin and notes that it’s not just brokers who are making errors due to a lack of understanding in the current environment.

“I think the valid concern is more understanding the technical issues around lending to SMSFs. We were concerned with some of the borrowing practices that are going on – many of them show an absolute lack of understanding.”

But banks, he says, are just as liable to make mistakes in this area as brokers.

“They really need to understand that as well. We see that there’s a need for education in that area; it’s just getting people to understand what they’re about and what the borrowing requirements are.

Colley says the course will consist predominantly of webinars and will launch sometime between July and September this year. Brokers won’t need to be SPAA members to take part, though they will be subject to a $75 per-hour fee.

“Webinars are our preferred way at the moment,” says Colley, “because they’re able to get to a broader population. Country people love it because they don’t have to travel and it’s much more efficient for us.”


  • by Country Broker 5/04/2013 9:47:52 AM

    It is not just brokers , many lenders assessenmt and credit staff are short on knowledge in this area

  • by Moonae 5/04/2013 9:56:43 AM

    Most good brokers who work in the SMSF space know what they are doing and work well with the Accountants and Solcitors. I find it is the Banks who struggle to handle these transactions with undertrained staff or staff working off rote procedure. I have also often needed to remind some so called SMSF specialists (Lawyers) of particular ATO alerts to avoid non complying transactions so, it is a bit simplistic to target brokers as a weak point of knowledge and expertise. If there is any ecucation needed, I think Lawyers , Accountants and Banks should be equally involved. Targetting Brokers as a weak link is a bit of industry wedge politics in an area where there are a lot of vested interests jockeying for share. I take little heed in so called experts putting down my professions knowledge in this area.

  • by Chris C 5/04/2013 10:09:15 AM

    and its not just lenders - agents and solicitors are also lacking in SMSF purchases and contract requirements. I have completed a number of SMSF loans and declined to complete some on viability. Note to SPAA though : your Certifictates of Diploma that you issue are a joke - everyone who sees mine see it as an advert for SPAA rather than a formal Training Qualification to be taken seriously.