chair John Symond
has claimed banks' control of mortgage broking businesses does not pose a threat to competition.
Speaking to The Australian Financial Review
, Symond has argued that bank ownership of broker distribution channels will not hamper customers' access to good home loan deals. While regional banks have claimed in a submission to the Financial Systems Inquiry that there are anecdotal reports of "distortions" caused by bank ownership of brokers, Symond claimed this was untrue.
Symond told The AFR
that bank ownership of broker distribution networks had already occurred in countries with more "mature" mortgage markets than Australian. He said the trend would not impact consumers.
“So long as consumers believe they are getting a good deal, they don’t care where the money comes from," Symond told The AFR
. “It’s like going to a service station. You need petrol and you need super, do you jib at whether it’s BP, Caltex or Shell? If you need it, you’re going to take, generally one of those, without saying ‘who own’s Shell? Who owns BP?’”
Symond claimed that Aussie
Home Loans had actually reduced the share of its mortgages written through CBA
by around 20%, despite the bank's stake in the franchise brokerage.
Symond also poured cold water on claims that home loan competition in Australia is inadequate. He claimed banks were competing "vigorously" for residential mortgage business.
“Consumers have lenders tripping over each other to get their business, some of them are even offering $1000 cash and no expenses and all that, loans with all the features and flexibilities that you cannot get anywhere in the world. We take things for granted," Symond told The AFR