FBAA slams ABC senior economics correspondent’s “misrepresentation” of brokers’ qualifications

Journalist “confuses” professional entry standards with bank’s loan referral program

FBAA slams ABC senior economics correspondent’s “misrepresentation” of brokers’ qualifications



The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) has accused ABC and its chief economic reporter Emma Alberici of “misrepresenting the qualifications of finance brokers,” amidst the Royal Commission’s inquiry into alleged misconduct in the banking sector.

During an episode of the network’s “Matter of Fact” show with Stan Grant, the FBAA said Alberici confused National Australia Bank’s “introducer program” with the entry standards of professional mortgage brokers. “[A]nyone can set themselves up as a mortgage broker, even a gym owner,” Alberici said.

The introducer program pays third party professionals for referring their customers to the bank for loans. Unlike brokers, they are not required to be licensed or regulated by the National Credit Act.

According to FBAA director Peter White, finance brokers work within a very strict regulatory environment as they must have at least a Cert IV in Financial Services (Finance and Mortgage broking). They are also mentored for two years and continue training after that.

“Entry into this industry could be described in a way like a traineeship, where brokers receive a combination of theory and formal training, plus guidance and on-the-job training, as well as ongoing development for their entire career,” White said. “As those within the industry are aware, training never stops, and in fact is mandatory for brokers to meet their regulatory and association requirements.”

White has called on ABC to publicly correct the record and apologise. He said it is unprofessional for any journalist to imply that a few people who do the wrong thing represent the entire broking sector, or that the industry is not professional and skilled. “The media must be careful how they report from the commission, and the FBAA will not stand by and allow finance brokers to be misrepresented.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the royal commission in November last year, to investigate how financial institutions have dealt with misconduct in the past and whether this exposes inherent cultural and governance issues.

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