The director of Independent Broker Network, Scott Roberts, says he understands ASIC’s reasoning behind restricting usage of the word “independent” in broker business names, but is upset at having to pay for re-licensing as a result.
Roberts compares the new ASIC legislation, which bans brokers from using the term “independent” in their company name unless any commissions received by the broker are fully rebated to the consumer, to the rationale behind gun laws, saying it protects borrowers from a small minority of brokers who may use the word in a deceitful way.
“Unfortunately, there’s a small percentage of people out there who use [“independent”] too liberally. I think what ASIC are trying to do is cut out the minority of people who use it inappropriately.”
Independent Broker Network is rebranding itself this month and Roberts says he wouldn’t mind, necessarily, except that ASIC is requiring firms like his to pay for re-licensing – something he feels is unfair.
“We’ve got to go through all our licensing again – that’s a pain. It’s time consuming. You actually have to pay for it all again.”
Roberts says his firm never used the word “independent” as a sales pitch, rather, it was a reflection of the fact that IBN deals directly with independent brokers.
“It’s been painful. I think ASIC should have taken into consideration people who had that in their name – we shouldn’t have to go through with licensing again.”