The ACCC has affirmed controversial third-line forcing notifications requiring brokers to be members of the MFAA.
An ACCC spokesperson has told Australian Broker the competition watchdog will allow the notifications to stand for Aussie Home Loans and Mortgage Choice. ING Direct has withdrawn its notification, and Virgin Money said it no longer engaged in the practice.
Brokers have been roundly critical of the measures, sounding off repeatedly on the popular Australian Broker online forum to express their displeasure.
But ASIC supported the notifications, saying in a submission to the ACCC that mandatory MFAA membership carried with it potential consumer benefits.
"Participation in the mortgage industry appears to remain accessible under current arrangements," ASIC said.
ACCC chair Rod Sims echoed the comments, saying the forcing notifications ensured high standards for brokers.
"The ACCC believes the arrangements continue to deliver a benefit to the public, notwithstanding the commencement of a national regulatory regime for the credit industry in 2010," he said.
The ACCC conceded that the notifications reduced competition among industry associations, but argued that as they affect only Aussie and Mortgage Choice brokers, the public detriment was "likely to be minimal".
Watchdog zeroes in on mandatory MFAA membership