Australian Broker weekend wrap: ASIC action, brokers drive growth and a bubble deflated

by AB10 Oct 2015
Making news this week, a broker cops an ASIC ban, a non-major credits its growth to the third-party channel and claims APRA has staved off a housing bubble.

Early this week, the FBAA made news by vowing a freeze on its membership fees for at least the next two years. The association said its fees will remain at their current level until at least 31 October 2017.

In regulatory news, ASIC remained busy this week. The watchdog announced it had permanently banned a former Aussie Home Loans brokers who was convicted of making false statements, as well as making and using false documents in home loan applications. The franchise brokerage responded to the banning, saying the broker had been immediately terminated in 2013 following an internal investigation. Aussie said it had also helped ASIC prosecute the broker, and had informed the MFAA of the misconduct.

But brokers weren't the only ones in ASIC's crosshairs, with the regulator banning not one, but two, former Commonwealth Financial Planning advisers this week.

In better news for brokers, Bank of Queensland announced its results this week, and credited brokers with a return to home loan system growth. The non-major said the broker channel accounted for 15% of Bank of Queensland’s housing settlements, up from 5% in 2014.

Finally, a major property developer claimed this week that APRA's lending restrictions had taken the heat out of the Sydney and Melbourne markets. Stockland CEO Mark Steinart said APRA's investor lending clampdown had stopped the threat of a housing bubble by suppressing supply.