New MFAA CEO delivers very first statement

by Miklos Bolza21 Dec 2016
The new CEO for the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), Mike Felton, has offered his first public statement since stepping into the position two weeks ago.
In his introductory address, he outlined his plan for his first 90 days in the job.
“I am honoured and grateful to the board for the opportunity to lead the MFAA team and I am excited about the challenges and opportunities this role presents,” he said.
“I am determined to uphold the professional standards of the industry, keep our members informed of changes that will affect them, and help them grow and protect their businesses.”
Over the past two weeks, Felton said that he has spent time with the MFAA team, board, and several members to understand the key issues affecting the industry, how the MFAA has performed during 2016 and how it was placed for the future.
“It is evident that the past year has been a difficult one for the MFAA, with significant internal change impacting our ability to perform and to communicate promptly with our members,” he said. “This – combined with a particularly active external regulatory environment – resulted in a challenging year, which has clearly left us with work to do.”
Whilst his initial focus was on listening and understanding, Felton said he has also engaged on important regulatory issues.
“We have worked with ASIC/Treasury as they refine the ASIC industry funding model and were successful in negotiating an extension of the submission date the industry needs to make a meaningful contribution to the revised model.
“We have also vigorously engaged in the debate on external dispute resolution (EDR) schemes and, of course, continue to actively advocate on the remuneration review which remains of primary importance.”
Felton also promised to engage with members all over Australia, meeting with as many as possible to discuss how the MFAA is doing, how it can improve, and the successes it can build upon.
“Today, I travelled to Tasmania with our chairman, Cynthia Grisbrook, to participate in our ongoing broker roundtables and to provide an update on the remuneration review, and will continue these engagements through January and into our PD events in February,” he said.
Felton promised to drive sustainable and ethical growth through a “framework of integrity, compliance and professional standards” to provide confidence to both customers and stakeholders.
He concluded, saying his 30 years’ experience with financial services in high change environments puts him in a position to help the MFAA face the challenges of 2017.
“My experience in adjacent auto and asset finance industries, as well as in financial markets and treasury, gives me a deep understanding of our industry’s macro environment. I join the MFAA with fresh eyes, and will work with members and our team to advance our cause with customers, regulators and other stakeholders.”
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