Stronger together

by AB20 Nov 2018

FBAA managing director Peter White on the launch of the International Mortgage Brokers Federation

Financial regulators often collaborate across borders to share knowledge and outcomes, but the industries they regulate are rarely a­fforded the same opportunity. In a bid to level the playing field – and support brokers in the process – a new, global federation has been established, the International Mortgage Brokers Federation (IMBF).

The culmination of two years of work by Australia’s FBAA, the federation launched in Canada last month during a conference held by the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association (CMBA).

A world first, the IMBF is comprised of industry bodies from Canada, Australia, the USA, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Other countries that use third party origination networks to distribute loan products have also been invited to join.

FBAA managing director Peter White has travelled and networked extensively to bring the project to fruition. He describes the federation as “the leading global forum for bringing the international mortgage broking community and its suppliers together to collaborate”.

“If we want to stay ahead of the curve we need to be formally talking to each other, understanding each other’s markets, economies, regulatory journey and history” - Peter White, executive director, FBAA

“When I spoke with the CMBA, I mentioned I was establishing a global network of like-minded associations given I had been to the UK and New Zealand in 2016 and the three of us were heading down this path,” White says.

“The Canadians said they were looking at something similar, and the conversation continued from there. The Canadians assisted in setting up the federation, and I coordinated with the UK, New Zealand and USA to come on board while also working on various strategies for the federation. There will be more countries joining.”

While the new body will share ideas, refer clients, gather market intelligence and identify trends, it will also foster collaboration to advocate for brokers on a global scale, and ensure suitable representation is made during any changes to regulations and legislation.

The organisation also aims to develop and adapt new and existing standards that enhance the industry and promote strong ethical practices by its members.

“It enables all of us to have concise knowledge on how all markets work,” White explains. “Our governments are all talking to each other and formulating regulations from their learnings, and if we want to stay ahead of the curve we need to be formally talking to each other, understanding each other’s markets, economies, regulatory journey and history.”

Through the federation, the world’s first international referral network will also be established, enabling brokers who have clients moving overseas to be able to refer them to a broker in another IMBF country, ensuring continuity and a share of commission.

“The IMBF is about sharing knowledge and learnings for industry associations and their interactions, issues, outcomes, successes and challenges with regulators and government,” White says.

A board of governors has been established and the executive team will be announced shortly. For now, the FBAA and CMBA both sit on the federation’s global board of governors, and the final structure is yet to be announced. White will act as interim spokesperson, and Australia and Canada will take the lead executive positions within the new federation.