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.
Watchdog zeroes in on mandatory MFAA membership