New industry association launches for finance and mortgage brokers

by Madison Utley16 Sep 2020

A new industry association for finance and mortgage brokers has launched with the mission of helping up-skill brokers and delivering transformation to the industry.

Finance Broker Education & Training Australia is the country's first digital industry association and, as a not-for-profit which is independent from the banks and aggregators, aims to make a wider range of training and education accessible to mortgage brokers than is currently available elsewhere.

FBETA CEO Shane Reynolds has been a broker for 20 years and currently runs his Gold Coast-based broking busines Blessed Financial Services which predominantly facilitates commercial deals.

“Proper education and training are central to transforming this industry,” Reynolds said.  

“We believe those with a conflict of interest should not have a role in providing this education, which is why we formed the FBETA as an independent body, independent from the banks and independent from the aggregators.

“The theme of our education is giving brokers what they want. Our focus groups have told us they want tools to help them in their business right now, and so we’ve made it so that you can walk away from our courses and implement things you learned straight into your business to immediately make a difference.”

On 11 September, the association launched its Private Lending CPD Course endorsed by AAMC Training Group and recognised by industry fund managers and private lenders.

The course covers the essential elements in the preparation of a privately funded mortgage application, the process for successfully obtaining private funding, dealing with private lenders, and providing clarity in an unregulated industry.

According to Reynolds, the FBETA spent months creating the modules with the AAMC team. 

“All of their staff that assessed the training modules are ex-brokers or brokers themselves and they loved it as it provides the practical stuff brokers truly need,” said Reynolds.

“We wanted to make sure that when we launched, we had something available for the industry to take up straight away.

“Our plan of attack has always been to offer products and services created for brokers, trusting they’ll see the value in them and become a member due to that, rather than launching an association with a mission statement and a promise that we’ll get there.”

The FBETA offers two levels of membership, an associate membership for $150 a year which provides access to all the basics and a full membership for $299 annually which gives access to a variety of tools, training and support and carries the relevant voting rights.

“As a digital association, we don’t have the expense of overheads,” said Reynolds.

“We’re going to be offering free access to future PD days. We’ve aligned ourselves with industry partners that can offer technology to our members at discounted rates. Plus, we’re rolling out new features very regularly.

“It’s a win/win: you join the association, you tell us what you need, and we partner with the relevant player to build those products. We’re truly for the broker.”

The founding members of FBETA voted unanimously to approve the creation of a central database of lenders as their first project. The technology connects mortgage brokers with over 400 sources of capital, including mortgage trusts, family offices, private lenders and non-banks. 

“We’ve put together an approved central database called Lender Connect so brokers can see who all the lenders are, the products they offer and their pricing. It will totally expand brokers' horizons and their ability to provide more capital and better solutions to their customers,” said Reynolds.

“We don’t take a brokerage fee. It’s purely subscription based. We just want to help brokers go out and get more capital. Rather than just teaching how to fish, we show brokers where all the fish are.”

Reynolds emphasised that the FBETA does not consider itself “in competition” with the other industry associations; rather, the group believes it is offering complementary support to what they provide.

“We believe we can’t rely on regulation alone, but we also can’t rely on education alone to be transformational, which is why the FBAA and MFAA are important allies for us,” he said.

“They’re providing the advocacy, they’re at the forefront negotiating for brokers with policymakers and with government. We see them as our friends.”