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MFAA head warns brokers to 'think twice'

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Australian Broker | 29 Jan 2016, 08:00 AM Agree 0
Brokers need to think twice before posting opinions online or engaging in discussions in online forums, the chief executive of the MFAA has warned
  • Steve McClure | 29 Jan 2016, 09:15 AM Agree 0
    It's a very good point. A comment might also come from frustration, or having a bad day. So, if it's an industry issue, take it up with your association first. I know from experience that both Peter White & Siobhan Hayden will always ensure they address it and respond. Reach out to those around you. Our industry has unity and support to help us get great results for our clients.
  • Richard | 29 Jan 2016, 09:32 AM Agree 0
    Well I think we all know which camp Steve sits in, he should go into politics given his strengths in propaganda. The first point of business for the regulators should be to conduct a review of both associations and what they actually do for the industry.
  • | 29 Jan 2016, 09:41 AM Agree 0
    Ok, so maybe ask the 'mainstream press' what they would do? Would they use a broker with a fee for service, or go direct for free?
  • Broker | 29 Jan 2016, 09:53 AM Agree 0
    People get quite restless when there is uncertainty around the future income levels of their profession, well I do anyway.

    Brokers are basically paid for performance, our clients are obviously happy with the proposition that we offer as they are voting with their feet and It is rather disheartening to see ASIC, on almost a weekly basis, continuously and unfairly targeting our industry as being dishonest, self-serving and not acting in the best interests of our clients. Do they seriously believe we want to sabotage our own businesses that we have built up over many years by not doing the right thing by our loyal clients?

    Our market share is increasing for a very good reason. I am sick of the ill-informed dribble that comes out of ASIC, the continued silence and lack of leadership that comes out of our industry associations and the collective uselessness of all our aggregators.

    What is so wrong with the current commission structures? We have never heard a word out of the MFAA and FBAA and how they will be representing the brokers that keep these two organisations afloat.

    I feel that ASIC is on a mission to harm our profession long term and I would hope that the people that we rely on ensure we don't get completely screwed keep up their end of the bargain, but I suspect that won’t be the case.
    Brokers have no voice whatsoever and that is why I get restless!
  • Macarthur Broker | 29 Jan 2016, 10:31 AM Agree 0
    Excellent comments from Siobhan. We all know the press will be reading these forums so let's keep it professional and offer positive and well informed commentary.

    I am very passionate about this fantastic industry and we should promote it in a positive fashion. I agree with Siobhan, if you would not say in a meeting with ASIC etc don't say it all. If we do that, ASIC will more than likely see there is not much need for change. Resisting scrutiny will only set the alarm bells ringing with the regulators and none of us wants more regulation!
  • Broke Broker | 29 Jan 2016, 11:04 AM Agree 0
    Some good points and comments certainly need to be considered. Silencing opinions is not the answer, however. There needs to be more communication from the MFAA letting us know what issues they are tackling.

    Clawback is certainly one of our biggest issues however this seems to always be swept under the carpet. Why do regulatory bodies and governments see everything but avoid the truth? They are supposed to work for us not against us. It's all about the dollar and corporates lining their pockets.

    Let's find independent media who are sympathetic to our cause, for example. We are also consumers.
  • Steve McClure | 29 Jan 2016, 12:09 PM Agree 0
    Yes Richard, I'm proud to represent brokers in my voluntary role of the MFAA NSW state forum. I also think the FBAA does a very good job and the two main associations have strong leaders. There are also some very effective forums such as the IFBF. But nothing's perfect and not all ills are cured.

    Next year is my 25th as a broker, and I still ask the fair question of what the associations do for us. There's more to be done, but it's better than ever. Until I started looking deeper into what's available, viewing webinars & attending selected events, I wasn't fully aware. The benefit for all of us is we are more attractive to consumers and heading toward 60% market share. Its extremely pleasing to be able to take a broker issue to the MFAA and getting a result, even a change.
  • Broker | 29 Jan 2016, 12:25 PM Agree 1
    Sorry Steve, but I can't recall any tangible results bring delivered, other than the typical industry spin, that have been of any benefit to my business since I joined this industry way back when.

    If the MFAA and FBAA were so effective in leadership and delivering results, then we as an industry would not be faced with the uncertainty that we currently are. Gee I wonder why we struggle to attract new entrants??

    I am interested in the income certainly around this great industry. The fact that ASIC are on a witch hunt ( to look for the so called misaligned incentives that we all know don't even exist) tells me that the MFAA and FBAA have both failed miserably in educating ASIC as to what we actually do and the fair income we receive for doing what we do.

    Why are ASIC targeting brokers' income structure (what has it got to do with them and why is it such a priority) given the high level of satisfaction from consumers that don't pay for our advice and probably never will.

    It does not make any sense (unless you are the big 4 that is).
  • Giffo | 29 Jan 2016, 02:52 PM Agree 0
    I wonder what Cathy Cummings has to say?
  • Concerned | 30 Jan 2016, 10:02 AM Agree 2
    I feel you will find ASIC will target any industry that is commission base. Under this system it leads to bad outcomes. I'd assume ASIC also act when their are complaints. No complaints no action.

    Hence why financial planning goes through so many rinse and repeat cycles.

    ASIC are investigating banks in addition to brokers.

    I'm planning my business on the assumption it will change. I suggest everyone does, the businesses that don't could struggle.
  • OzBoy | 30 Jan 2016, 11:07 AM Agree 2
    Good advice however if ASIC are taking comments from a forum as a base to "an investigation" then we all have more to worry about that some errant comments out of frustration or stupidity.

    The comments around the MFAA and FBAA keeping us up to date around the issues that cause these types of responses would be great, for example the recent commission stories - what is their stance? I have not received any notification from either association around these. I am a member of both.

    I would also like to have seen some comments around the industry "press" and their business practice of inflaming these comments, the Kathy Cummings comments and then follow up with brokers by Sterling Press is the most recent example. Shameless.
  • Old Blownup Broker | 02 Feb 2016, 12:57 PM Agree 0
    Siobhan - if you look at the history of mortgage broking in Australia, online forums and blogs exposed some of the going-ons that journos otherwise should have been onto.

    One area I remember was the large difference in LMI premiums with loans that needed cash flow cover built into the premium, which was up to 20% more expensive to the consumer than banks. This blew up non-bank lenders in the daily newspapers price offers.

    Another was the franchises taking advantage of new entrants who are not aware of the costs involved in the running of a practice and then losing their trail income and clients once they leave. The handcuff clauses are totally unfair to the brokers.

    Also what about the secret trading of brokers details on the open market and how some shonky operators took some brokers to town on it... Where was the MFAA or FBAA? Mmmm...
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