Brokers have sounded off on an ACCC review into compulsory MFAA membership, expressing their anger with third-line forcing notifications.
The competition watchdog is currently undertaking a review of third-line forcing notifications submitted by companies such as Mortgage Choice and Aussie Home Loans, making MFAA membership mandatory for their franchisees.
Several brokers answered the ACCC's call for submissions into the benefits and detriments to consumers, and have rejected the idea of forcing notifications.
In a submission to the ACCC, Australian Loan Company broker Ian Dennis argued that, as a credit rep for an ACL holder, he is already provided with training and compliance tools.
"I have been broking for seven years and find it a difficult run to pay $500 a year for something I have not received any benefit from," Dennis wrote.
Dennis said he had let his MFAA membership lapse due to "the high cost involved", and contended that he would not use lenders who required association membership.
"By being a member, there is no benefit as everything they offer I can get from my licence holder, and I am already paying them a fee and a split of my commission which is enough pressure on earnings without having to deal with peaks and troughs in consumer needs and confidence and paying more to join one of these bodies," he wrote.
Dennis urged the ACCC to consider the needs of "one man band" brokers in its review.
"We are the ones that are the backbone of the industry. We are the ones that the big players fear when it comes to their market share," Dennis wrote.
Melinda Young of Mortgage Simplicity said there was no benefit to consumers, brokers or lenders in requiring MFAA membership.
"There are many other accredited training organisations that can satisfy training and continuing professional development programs for mortgage brokers," Young wrote.
Young added the advent of licensing meant MFAA membership no longer served as an industry benchmark.
Mortgage Choice put forward its own submission, defending its forcing notification. The company claimed consistency among its franchisees was behind its decision to make MFAA membership mandatory, and said it could more effectively influence an industry association to the benefit of its franchisees if franchisees were required to belong to one industry body.
"That being the case, Mortgage Choice needs to choose which industry body it believes best serves the interests of its franchisees. In Mortgage Choice’s opinion, the MFAA remains the most appropriate such body," the company said.
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