Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn has defended the company's role in the Big Bank Switch campaign, saying any money it received was transparently revealed.
The consumer group has been singled out in the past for its perceived hypocrisy over the campaign, in which consumers were encouraged to switch mortgages and use buying power to find a better deal, with Choice receiving a commission.
Financial Planning Association (FPA) CEO Mark Rantall in particular has been critical over what he described as Choice's double standards and lack of transparency over referral fees, while the group has been critical of commissions received by brokers and financial planners.
Zinn hit back at suggestions of double-standards, telling Australian BrokerNews the Big Bank Switch fee was transparent both in "declaring it into the market, and declaring it to the consumer".
"We received a fixed $250 per switch, which was to pay for the running of the campaign, and that was paid from One Big Switch's (a partner group) fixed commission rate of 0.5%. There were no trail commissions, so both of those fees were revealed openly with each offer," he said.
"We just wish there were industry standards which were as transparent and as straight forward as that."
According to Zinn, Choice was 'still considering its options' about a proposed venture into the financial planning space, after Choice CEO Nick Stace suggested it could be on the cards earlier this year.
Stace told the Australian Financial Review he wanted to compete with the financial advice industry.
"I sit on the board of an international consumer organisation that represents 250 consumer organisations in 120 countries and I can tell you financial advice in this country in among the worst," Stace told the AFR.
Stace accused brokers and financial advisers of giving consumers "crap financial advice", and said consumers wanted advice from "an organisation they could trust".
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