Aussie executive chair John Symond has argued that mortgage broking must become a “bona fide” career drawing a higher calibre of participants.
Speaking at the Australian Banking + Finance Mortgage Innovation Forum in Sydney, Symond commented that, as the industry matures, it will become a viable career option for young people leaving university.
“The broking industry is becoming a lot more professional. It's not yet where we want to see it. Young people don't go to study at university and say 'I want to be a mortgage broker', so we're not there yet,” he said.
Symond said the industry had already changed from the days of employing “a few ex-bankies”, but contended that mortgage broking must be a career young people strive for rather than fall into.
“Over the next 5-10 years, we'll see a much higher calibre of career-oriented people who look on the mortgage industry as a bona fide, acceptable career. Until young people talk this way, it will always be, 'Well that didn't work, and that didn't work so I think I'll give mortgage broking a go',” he said.
The advent of technology could see this goal become a reality. Higher standards for new entrants will also lead to greater industry professionalism, Symond suggested.
“One thing I'm absolutely certain of is that over the next 5-10 years, this industry is going to become a younger person's industry. That's the evolution of the industry attaining credibility and professionalism,” he said.
This growing professionalism stands as the upside of government regulation of the mortgage industry, Symond said. While he admitted he would “put my hand up and say we’ve got so much bloody regulation”, he argued that a more professional industry would be the end result.
“Criticisms of regulation notwithstanding, we're better off having it than not having it,” he said.
And as the operating environment becomes more difficult, Symond commented that the industry finds new ways of doing business, to the benefit of consumers.
“In years to come, we'll look back and say that consumers were the winners from all this forced innovation,” he said.
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