Brokers dish tips on how to avoid channel conflict

by Julia Corderoy10 Mar 2015
Despite the majority of brokers experiencing branch/broker channel conflict during their career, brokers say channel conflict is becoming a lot less frequent.  

In an online poll conducted by Australian Broker, 80% of brokers admitted that they had experienced channel conflict with a bank branch during their career. However, two top brokers have told Australian Broker that channel conflict is rare.

Jeremy Fisher, director of 1st Street Home Loans, says channel conflict happens a lot less today than it has in the past.

“Occasionally we do experience channel conflict but it happens a lot less than it did in the past. These days, branches and brokers are mostly working together for the best interests of the client which is a shift in the right direction.”

Meanwhile, Owun Taylor, owner and partner of Mortgage Choice Newtown, told Australian Broker that channel conflict has never really been an issue for his brokerage.

“We have been in business for 14 years here in Newtown, so it has happened in the past. That said, I can honestly say that I could count on one hand the number of times I or anyone in our team has experienced channel conflict.”

Taylor says most brokers should be able to avoid channel conflict by emphasising their value proposition to clients from the start. 

“The first item in all our client meetings is to take them through the Mortgage Choice customer charter. I feel we do a very good job of explaining to them that we have exactly the same products as the lenders direct channels,” he said.

“Then we move on the explain what a Mortgage Choice Newtown broker does for them. At Mortgage Choice, we also offer financial planning services through our in-house financial planner and I think this really helps to strengthen our business and customer offering.”

Fisher agrees, but adds that a broker’s relationship with lenders and branches is also just as important in reducing any potential channel conflict.

“We work closely with local branches and their teams know that we are all working to benefit the client, so we all have a common goal. By offering a very high level of customer service, brokers can reduce the chance of clients contacting lenders directly as clients should be in the frame of mind that they their broker is their first point of call.”