A News Ltd article claiming mortgage brokers ‘require just two days training before qualifying to handle tens of millions of dollars a year in loans’ has sparked outrage from brokers and associations alike.
The original piece was posted on a number of News Ltd publication websites with headlines ranging from ‘Mortgage brokers axed for study failure’ to ‘Mortgage mugs handle your home loans’ and was written in response to the MFAA’s broker membership cancellation announcement on Monday.
The piece, run on News.com.au, contains a link to a home loan comparison tool hosted on the site, powered by InfoChoice. Requests by Australian Broker for comment from News Ltd on any commercial relationship between the company and InfoChoice went unanswered.
The piece claims that the MFAA's broker membership canellation, “has shone the spotlight on just how little training is required for mortgage brokers, who regularly handle tens of millions of dollars a year in loans. Before the introduction of the National Consumer Credit Protection laws in 2009, sparked in part due to concerns about lax and predatory lending practices, mortgage brokers required no qualifications at all.”
MFAA CEO, Phil Naylor, has responded to the article with words of disappointment.
“It is a shame that an industry that successfully raises the bar in its professional standards should be the subject of ill-informed and biased attacks by a journalist who demonstrates little understanding of how mortgage brokers operate and are trained.”
Naylor further argues that the article’s claim that brokers can complete a Certificate IV and diploma ‘in a total of five days’ shows a ‘complete lack of understanding’ about the industry’s training.
However, Loan Market national director of sales, Mark De Martino, says the MFAA’s announcement that it would be cancelling the membership of 1,100 brokers, though ‘well intended’ has offered the mainstream media an opportunity to discredit brokers and the educational requirements of the industry.
“The media is forgetting that the vast majority of brokers did complete their diploma as required by the MFAA and by aggregators.”
Furthermore, says Loan Market spokesperson, Paul Smith, the media also fail to understand that brokers are held to account not only by the MFAA and aggregators, but by lenders who decide whether or not to accept loan applications submitted by brokers.