'Absolute lack' of broker understanding leads to SMSF education initiative

The SPAA's new technical director is making it his personal mission to educate brokers about SMSF lending



The SPAA’s new technical director, Graeme Colley, has announced a major SMSF education campaign aimed at brokers.

Colley, who takes over the position from former technical director, Peter Burgess, on Monday, tells Australian Broker he and colleague Liz Ward have developed a course for mortgage brokers and others in the finance industry interested in learning about SMSF’s.

“In the past we’ve done a lot of technical training for members, accountants and financial planners. [The new] course will be suitable for those people who don’t want to get heavily involved, but they want to understand what it is and how it operates.”

He says he disagrees with the argument that brokers should stay away from SMSF’s due to a risk of spreading themselves thin and notes that it’s not just brokers who are making errors due to a lack of understanding in the current environment.

“I think the valid concern is more understanding the technical issues around lending to SMSFs. We were concerned with some of the borrowing practices that are going on – many of them show an absolute lack of understanding.”

But banks, he says, are just as liable to make mistakes in this area as brokers.

“They really need to understand that as well. We see that there’s a need for education in that area; it’s just getting people to understand what they’re about and what the borrowing requirements are.

Colley says the course will consist predominantly of webinars and will launch sometime between July and September this year. Brokers won’t need to be SPAA members to take part, though they will be subject to a $75 per-hour fee.

“Webinars are our preferred way at the moment,” says Colley, “because they’re able to get to a broader population. Country people love it because they don’t have to travel and it’s much more efficient for us.”

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