MFAA director prefers association competition

by Ben Abbott,BN15 Feb 2012

The new independent director of the MFAA, Corinna Dieters, has said it is good for the mortgage industry's peak broker association to have competition from other industry associations.

As a review of third line forcing notifications by brokers and lenders continues by the ACCC, Dieters has told the MFAA's Mortgage & Finance Brief that competition is essential for the MFAA.

"As an association, it's good to have competition," Dieters said.

"Some people feel there should be one body representing everyone, but that's not a good position to be in, because then everyone will have to be members of that one association and there is no opportunity for differentiation," she said.

The MFAA has recently come under fire for its levels of member engagement. This week, MFAA President Steve Kane responded to critics of MFAA value, saying a survey conducted in 2009 had found that only 22% of members were dissatisfied with what the MFAA does to represent them.

Dieters, who is chair of the Financial Planning Standards Board and Director of Seaview Consulting, said member engagement was a challenge for any industry association,.

"The engagement of the members in terms of the voting in elections is quite low, but that's typical of association’s - full stop," she said.

"Member engagement is critical, but you can get quite hung up on it. You often hear, 'We need to have bigger numbers, we need our members to be more engaged'. But in reality if you're doing a good job, they'll let you do it. If members aren't happy they'll be out in droves."

Related stories:

Dissatisfied brokers a minority: Kane

TV: Brokers slam mandatory MFAA membership