MFAA CEO, Phil Naylor, says the internet is nothing more than a tool when it comes to borrowers seeking a home loan and that online portals pose little risk to the broking industry.
Naylor’s response follows an article published in Australian Broker on Friday, in which Mortgage House managing director, Sarah Roberts, warned that big banks may be ‘stealing’ clients from brokers by initiating easy-to-use websites involving direct-to-borrower loan applications.
While Naylor acknowledges that the internet is a vital tool for home buyers, he’s not convinced that flashy bank websites pose as much of a threat as Roberts makes out.
“While the internet is one of the most important sources of information for home buyers when researching potential property purchases, the best locations and their finance options, face-to-face contacted with a MFAA broker is central to completing a deal.”
Naylor says the MFAA’s own research shows 81% of potential borrowers planning to buy a house within the next 12 months are using the internet as their ‘primary’ source of information - but that this is a preliminary step taken before contacting a mortgage broker.
"There is no risk the industry risks fading away as we are now providing more than 40% of home loans in the market and are growing as a crucial financial services sector. While technology is obviously important as a first step in potential borrowers searching for a loan, it is the broker who can secure the loan for the customer through face to face contact, which is more important than ever before.”
Naylor says the industry and its representatives are spending ‘record sums’ of money online in order to help brokers connect with their potential customers.