While the federal election result was deemed the “best case scenario” by Connective director Mark Haron, he yesterday clarified he still “sees a significant amount of work to be done.”
According to Haron, the time and energy freed by not needing to address Labor’s structural changes to remuneration should be channeled into attention and preparation for other impending policy changes, such as the implementation of the best interest duty or changes to clawback.
“From an industry perspective, we can’t back off. We need to be working with the government, with the policymakers, to ensure that we have all of the other recommendations implemented in a well-structured [manner],” Haron explained.
“What happens in three years’ time, that’s the important part.”
If the next three years are well-utilised by the industry, mortgage broker remuneration and activity will no longer be a party issue by the next election.
Fortunately, Haron feels that both the Coalition government and the Opposition have begun to develop a better understanding of how important mortgage brokers are to competition in the home loan market, and are less likely to target the industry in future campaigns.
“If we have to put the gloves back on and have that fight again, we will. We’ll make it another election issue if we have to, but I get a sense that they understand enough to step back from that perspective,” he said.
However, in order to protect the industry goodwill that has recently been generated by such close communication with policymakers, it is crucial that brokers maintain the highest standards.
“We’ve got to make sure that we don’t create any room for errors or complaints. 96% of customers are either satisfied or very satisfied with what their broker has done for them. We’ve got to keep that up,” said Haron.
“If you’re a broker and you’re concerned that another broker is not doing the right thing, then talk to industry associations, talk to your aggregator.”
Additionally, as another layer of protection, the Connective director urged brokers to have transparent conversations with their customers.
He explained, “Make sure customers understand how you’re remunerated. Discuss it with them. Articulate the services [you provide]. Document them for the customer, if you can.
“So, if this pops up again, if it becomes an issue again, we’re in an even better place in terms of customer perception and no one doubting the value that they get from [their broker],” Haron concluded.