"It is time that the MFAA took off it's hat as self-appointed sheriff."
So said online reader Scopher (25 Nov 2011 10:21 AM) on the Australian BrokerNews Forum, following an Australian Broker exclusive that revealed the ACCC was looking carefully at arrangements by leading broking groups and lenders that make MFAA membership mandatory.
Here's what else Scopher had to say on the issue:
"This is a welcome and long overdue initiative from the ACCC. I am not against any professional association, however the compulsory membership of the MFAA goes against the notion of freedom of choice. With ASIC as the official regulator, it is time that the MFAA took off its hat of self-appointed sheriff."
Scopher was certainly not alone in his opinion mandatory memberships went too far.
Glen said: "Having been a member of the MFAA for probably 15 years, I welcome this review. If you look at the benefits that the MFAA is supposed to bring to its members it is hard not to conclude it has failed. I see no reason why MFAA memberships should be compulsory."
However, not all were against MFAA membership, calling the ACCC's efforts "futile":
Prisco Minichiello said: Regulators should make up their mind about how serious they are with consumer protection. The NCCP Act is not perfect but it goes a long way towards legitimising the industry. The MFAA provides invaluable advice to members and is an integral part of professionalism and compliance guidance to brokers. If the ACCC was to revoke the requirement, I'm sure 99% of brokers would retain membership. Seems to me this is a futile exercise.
What do you think? Australian BrokerNews is currently running an online poll on the issue, and at the moment 60% of respondents are saying lenders should have the right to make MFAA memberships mandatory. Only 35% believe the ACCC should outlaw the practice.
Vote in our poll here. Or alternatively, have your say on the Australian BrokerNews Forum!