The ACCC is seeking consultation on lender requirements that brokers be MFAA members.
In a letter obtained by Australian BrokerNews, the competition watchdog has said it will undertake a review of finance companies' requirements that brokers align themselves with the MFAA.
The letter, from ACCC adjudication branch general manager Richard Chadwick, was sent yesterday to around 70 industry stakeholders, including the major banks, ASIC, the FBAA and several aggregators.
Chadwick noted in the letter that Aussie Home Loans, Virgin Money, ING Bank and Mortgage Choice had in place notifications requiring that brokers dealing with the companies hold MFAA membership. He wrote that the ACCC could revoke these notifications at any time "if it determines that the conduct to which the notification relates no longer delivers a net benefit".
The ACCC has called on industry stakeholders to offer comment on "the likely public benefits and effect on competition" of the requirements, as well as "any other public detriment".
MFAA chief executive Phil Naylor told Australian BrokerNews the letter was likely sent as part of a regular review of such arrangements.
"Under trade practices law, if you have an arrangement like that authorised, you have to apply to the ACCC. The ACCC hears arguments from all parties, and their decision was yes, it was legitimate. From my understanding, those arrangements are not given in perpetuity, so this is probably a review, and the arrangement may continue or the ACCC may make another decision," Naylor said.