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The Big Story: Brokers slam mandatory MFAA membership

Mortgage brokers are telling the ACCC to ban mandatory MFAA membership as part of a review of third-line forcing notifications.

Video transcript below:

Donna Sawyer, Australian Broker News TV
Donna Sawyer:  Hi, I am Donna Sawyer and you are watching the Big Story on Australian Broker News TV.

Mortgage brokers are calling on the ACCC to scrap all forms of mandatory MFAA membership as part of a review of third line forcing notifications.  James Green of Oxygen Home Loans says compulsory membership of industry bodies is going too far.
James Green, Oxygen Home Loans
James Green:  I think it’s dangerous because organisations need to competitive on their own.  They shouldn’t be able to passive and have a membership base being compulsory because it stops them from innovating and being market leading.  They need to remain competitive and to remain competitive they need to listen to the people that are paying that fee and paying that fee because they want to be involved, not because they  have to.
Ian Jordan, The Selector Group
Ian Jordan:  I really really think that it should be a voluntary commitment.  The MFAA I think is a good organisation and people should be paying to belong to that.  However, I also fee that the MFAA needs to stand on its own two feet.
Donna Sawyer:  Ian Jordan of The Selector Group says while the MFAA’s good work should not be overlooked, brokers want better value for their membership fees.
Ian Jordan:  I think the biggest concern for brokers is they don’t feel that they get fair value for their membership fees for MFAA.  I don’t think that most brokers will really understand whether the MFAA is actually backing them or whether they are backing the banks.  Whether the larger groups, such as Aussie or a Mortgage Choice have so many members in there for influence outcomes through those channels.  Your standalone single brokers are probably more likely to be moving away from the MFAA unless they are able to demonstrate the value they add to those individual brokers.
James Green:  I really truly believe that the MFAA is becoming in regards to brokers that they feel that there is not a value there to be a member and so they are being forced to be a member by the MFAA. I think really ultimately the MFAA has to add value to those smaller players to make them want to be a part of the association and feel that they represent their interests in the best possible way.
Raymond Xue, ACA Mortgage Solution
Raymond Xue:  I think they should give a choice to the brokers and also for the broker we should an organisation to view, to voice opinion on behalf of the broker not behalf of the lender.
Donna Sawyer:  James Green of Oxygen Home Loans says any form of mandatory industry body membership could hurt smaller broking businesses.  
James Green:  If they don’t feel that they are getting the value from it, they fell like they are taking on an expense, additional cost and I think that’s really what they don’t like, asking to get their diploma earlier and say the licensee might be frustrating for them because they are going to have to put that time aside to get that diploma.  Is that a bad thing because they are going to have to do it eventually anyhow.  I am not too sure of the answer to that, but the feeling I get from them when I spoke to them and my brokers and brokers along the industry is they really just want the MFAA to add value to them.
Donna Sawyer:  For more on broker representative bodies and other industry news, click around the Australian Broker News website.  I am Donna Sawyer and I will see you again next week with the Big Story.