In Siobhan Hayden’s first task at the helm of the MFAA, she has kicked off her national road show - MFAA Paving the Road
Speaking to a room of about 40 brokers and industry professionals in her second Sydney workshop yesterday, Hayden asked brokers to discuss what they believed were their main barriers to success.
The overwhelming answer in the room was compliance, particularly the difference in compliance requirements placed on brokers compared to branches.
To cite a recent example, ASIC updated its responsible lending guidelines earlier this month, issuing additional compliance rules for brokers following a Federal Court decision that saw a lender taken to task over verifying clients' living expenses.
Meanwhile, APRA recently cautioned lenders to be “prudent” when dealing through third party channels as it could “potentially lead to additional risk”.
Another resounding issue was the concern over increased competition through disruptive players, such as Coles and Woolworths, entering the broker market. With many brokers running their own small business, competition from these super-power companies who have the brand and the clout behind them could leave many smaller players unable to compete.
However, when asked about opportunities for success, Hayden encouraged brokers to remember that some of these concerns can actually be promoted as advantages for brokers.
Brokers are often more qualified and more prudent - thanks to compliance - than the lending staff at a bank branch. Also, bigger players entering the market allow brokers to remind their clients that the one overriding advantage of small businesses is personable advice and a relationship with their broker.
The workshops - which will be run in both CBD and regional areas across the country - are a chance for Hayden to get in front of members to discuss their perceptions of and their requirements of the MFAA as their industry body.
The findings of the road show will form the industry body’s strategic plan, which will be distributed to members in the new year.