Mortgage managers may not be as conspicuous as brokers in the finance industry, but a new forum set up by the MFAA aims to change all that.
The MFAA has re-established the National Mortgage Managers Forum, and Australian Broker caught up with forum president and general manager of Mortgage Ezy, Joanna James, who says mortgage managers have been a powerhouse of innovation in the Australian lending environment for more than 30 years.
“We create competition in the market with unique product solutions and competitive pricing due to our lean and nimble business models and high level of service and personalised care,” she said.
“Managers have been credited with contributing to the reduction of interest rates and supply of a wider range of credit for Australians since the 1980s.”
Mortgage managers have had less visibility in the market for some time now, said James, as many operate within a wholesale model, supporting brokers in building their brands and businesses.
“The time has come for brokers and the wider community to understand our true value and the role we play as an important counterpoint to the mainstream. Moving forward with the current market consolidation, it is even more vital that we be understood for our contribution to Australian lending,” she said.
“We are a united group of 14 independent businesses working with the MFAA under the mortgage managers forum.”
The aim is to provide a “strong and clear voice” that educates the industry about the relevance and importance of their role to brokers, consumers and regulators accordingly. James said mortgage managers’ uniqueness spanned six areas:
- Managers create value through innovation and bring competition to the market
- Managers offer a diversity of products required to be compliant with the best interests duty
- They assist with and evaluate a truly appropriate solution
- Managers represent multiple lenders and can find ways to support clients due to a broad and comprehensive credit understanding
- Managers have a nuanced approach to credit policies that other lenders don’t • They offer personalised service, from credit to aftercare, and a level of care other institutions often don’t
“We are thrilled to be reinvigorating the impact of the forum as a vibrant and vocal channel, supporting the MFAA in their ongoing representation and enhancement of the lending industry,” James said.
“We meet regularly to contribute via ongoing discussions, projects and initiatives that will contribute to the ongoing development, education and communication of the mortgage management channel,” James said.
The forum is planning communications, tools and education pieces to support the future growth of the channel, including the navigation of regulatory changes for its members with the guidance of the MFAA. It is also working to connect with businesses that are either currently operating under a management model or are considering doing so, and that want support and the variety of industry experience it offers.
“We believe this will unify and add clarity as well as future progression to the channel as a whole and the variety of offerings we have to both brokers and consumers.”
The value for brokers
With BID now in effect, James said it was even more important for brokers who needed extra help in understanding the nuances of lending solutions to work with a manager who could explain products, policy, features and true costs measured over the life of the loan, rather than just looking at interest rates.
“Brokers will want to consider managers who offer a diversity of products, often not available in the mainstream. One defining point of difference is our ability to evaluate a truly appropriate solution across a horizon of comprehensive credit requirements. It is in this area of solution education that brokers will gain great value.”
When it comes to meeting individual time frames for urgent finance approvals, mortgage managers are renowned for their high level of personalised service before submission, during approval and after loan settlement.
“2021 and the implementation of BID will inspire a resurgence of mortgage management, demonstrating our ability to add value to brokers and the market generally,” James said.
Current forum projects
The forum is creating resource tools to support managers and those looking to understand more about mortgage management, including “who we are and how we do what we do”.
“This will include information around tech initiatives and best practice information. [In 2021]we will be releasing our video series to empower brokers and your clients,” James said.
“If you feel we can give you support in any way, please feel free to reach out to us either directly or via the MFAA.”