MFAA boss: we need a bigger voice than just mine

by Julia Corderoy20 Feb 2015
MFAA chief executive, Siobhan Hayden has urged lenders to play a more active role in educating the wider media and consumers about the role and rigour of brokers.

Whilst moderating a panel of lenders at the Australian Mortgage Innovation Summit yesterday, Hayden asked the panel – consisting of Suncorp, Commonwealth Bank, Pepper and Advantedge – what their reaction is when they see anything in the media that misrepresents the broker channel or the performance of the channel.

“I was quite surprised when The Australian published an article about four weeks ago in response to the ASIC investigation into the Mya Financial debacle - $110 million in fraud. After twenty-five years, the senior finance editor seemingly had very little understanding of what brokers do. So outside the broker channel, as lenders and brands in the market, what are you doing to help educate people in the media and people outside our industry in the relation to the rigour around what we do?” 

Steven Degetto, head of intermediaries at Suncorp Bank – which gets 70% of its home loan volume through the broker channel – pointed out that most consumers understand the broker proposition well, commenting that brokers hold just over 50% of the market share.

“So 50% of consumers in Australia can’t be wrong,” Degetto said.

But on educating consumers to the broker proposition, Degetto admitted that the lender “probably [does] take more of a backroom approach to that”.

Hayden, who did meet with the editor at The Australian to clarify his understanding about the broker market, has now urged lenders to play a bigger role in this type of education – more than just discussing prudent lending with regulators.

“If the channel is so big and there is such an appreciation of it in the lending environment, do we have a bigger voice than just mine to identify these challenges?” she asked. 

“…The conversations lenders are having with APRA still don’t seem to resonate to me because what they [journalists] write and how they interpret what we do in our industry doesn’t seem to correlate.”

Last month, the MFAA revealed plans to launch a Facebook marketing campaign aimed at directing consumers to brokers in its commitment to educate consumers and drive them to brokers.