MFAA review sees ING Direct, Mortgage Choice at odds

by Adam Smith15 Dec 2011

ING Direct and Mortgage Choice are at odds over the worth of enforcing mandatory MFAA memberships among their brokers, on the back of an ACCC review of the arrangements.

ING Direct has stated it does not require brokers to be MFAA members, despite a third line forcing notification filed with the ACCC which appeared to demand this minimum.

The ACCC is currently conducting a review of the notifications, which require MFAA membership. Aussie Home Loans, Mortgage Choice, Virgin Money and ING Direct currently have the notifications in place, but ING Direct head of broker distribution Mark Woolnough told Australian BrokerNews the lender merely requires AML training for accreditation, not MFAA membership.

“When becoming an ING Direct accredited broker, brokers conduct training courses –recommended by FBAA, MFAA [and] FPA – which are part of AML training,” he said.

Brokers are not required to hold industry association membership to be accredited, though Woolnough expressed support for association membership, saying it raised industry standards.

“While it is not mandatory for an ING Direct accredited broker to be a member of the MFAA, we see real value in such memberships. Industry bodies, like the MFAA help to maintain a professional standard within the industry while offering education, training and networking opportunities which have proven to benefit brokers – particularly in a competitive market.”

Woolnough said in addition customers place great importance on a broker’s ability to understand and deliver on those high standards.

Mortgage Choice, however, defended its requirement for MFAA membership, saying the brokerage stood by its forcing notification, and would offer up an ACCC submission on the issue. “While we appreciate MFAA membership is not a conditional requirement of NCCP, Mortgage Choice is committed to the MFAA and strongly believes in the need for an independent industry association,” a spokesperson said.

The topic of compulsory membership proved a hot-button issue on the popular Australian BrokerNews online forums, with brokers sounding off against the idea of membership requirements. A variety of brokers argued they were obsolete in an NCCP regime.

Related stories:

Watchdog zeroes in on mandatory MFAA membership


  • by Alwyn Beardmore 15/12/2011 10:14:43 AM

    As a broker let me say that I consider mandatory membership of the MFAA as a requirement neither assisting the brokers or the industry. Rather than the government forcing us to belong to a body which does very, very little for brokers perhaps they should poll the brokers first.

  • by ozboy 15/12/2011 10:16:07 AM

    Question for Mortgage Choice, why not and/or the FBAA?

  • by ChrisC 15/12/2011 10:49:36 AM

    Nice to see one institution not following the rest like sheep - good on ya ING Direct. MFAA should go. If ACCC and ASIC could see that the banks own and/or control MFAA and some of the aggregator groups that Brokers are not getting a fair deal with the MFAA anyway............may as well close MFAA and set up a Bank committee and be more transparent.......isn't that what we have all these beauocratic laws in place for now. Do Bank Managers have to gain as a min. a Dipl in Finance / Business Management - they are doing the same job Brokers are. Why shouldn't they. They can't just hide behind the Lender for this.