Australian Finance Group has come out in defence of the market's top aggregators, saying they are holding and growing market share despite claims to the contrary.
Data released this week by the Market Intelligence Strategy Centre (MISC) claimed the top five broker groups within its own research pool were losing market share to smaller players.
However, AFG executive director Kevin Matthews said the market's true behemoths - including AFG, which accounts for approximately 25% of broker share - were growing and consolidating their power.
"We have run the numbers against ABS figures, and our overall market share - not just broker share, but our share of the entire market - increased from 9.8% to 10.5% over that period," he said.
Matthews suggested that the market's other large competitors - including NAB-owned FAST, Choice and PLAN, as well as Connective - would not be going backward as a group in terms of market share.
He also said these groups when added together would account for approximately 70% of the market - much larger than the 49% MISC attributed to its largest five surveyed broker groups.
Matthews questioned the accuracy of MISC data when it came to interpreting trends ocurring in the mortgage market. He said AFG does not supply data to MISC, nor do some major bank lenders.
He added there were no up-and-coming smaller competitors challenging the top tier of aggregators, and that brokers as a whole could approach 50% market share this year.
"Because of the out-of-cycle rate increases, and the government bagging the banks all the time, customers are saying to themselves 'well what should I do'? There's never been a better time to be a finance broker," Matthews said.
Top aggregator market share plummets: MISC