Non-banks face off in roundtable showdown

by Miklos Bolza11 Oct 2017
The heads from six of the country’s biggest non-banks faced off yesterday in a livestream Q&A session on tough industry questions such as impending APRA regulation, changes to broker commissions, and public perceptions of the non-bank sector itself.

The leaders gathered at the Non-Bank Lenders Roundtable 2017 hosted in Sydney yesterday (10 October) by Australian Broker’s sister publication Mortgage Professional Australia (MPA).

One highlight of the hour-long event included Firstmac founder and managing director Kim Cannon warning about APRA’s increasing oversight on the non-bank sector.

“The spread of APRA – their grip on the industry – is quite astounding on what they’ve been able to do without direct legislation. The big concern is where do they go to next? Do they try and regulate the innovators of the industry – the competition of the future – do they try and regulate us to death?”

Cannon also sparked a heated debate with Liberty Financial national sales manager John Mohnacheff about the future of property ownership in Australia. While Cannon sounded the death knell, saying that rising prices would see greater concentrations of life-long renters, Mohnacheff had a brighter forecast about owner occupiers thanks to the self-correcting nature of the market.

“I think we’re going to see trends coming through where people will still want to buy a house. But if you can’t afford one in Melbourne or Sydney, it’s a very big country, a lot of cities, and a lot of opportunities.”

Young people will seek to make a life in Newcastle, Rockhampton, Shepparton or other smaller centres with the government hopefully encouraging that trend, he said.

Fielding a question on ASIC’s broker remuneration review, La Trobe Financial's chief lending officer Cory Bannister warned of potential repercussions if flat fees for brokers were introduced.

“It’s a little bit like FOFA. If you’re asking now for financial advice and you go as a consumer and you get an option to pay $5,000 or $6,000 upfront in order to get that advice, that actually detracts a lot of people from taking it up.”

Upfront fees for brokers will mean consumers are underserved in getting good home loan advice and may end up with a less-than-suitable loan, he said.

Talking about non-resident lending, Pepper Money’s director of sales and distribution Aaron Milburn, gave a glimpse of what the firm could do within this space.

“Given our existing infrastructure across Asia, it’s something that we should look at in the future.”

Also partaking in the forum were Homeloans general manager of third party distribution Daniel Carde and Better Mortgage Management managing director Murray Cowan. Those interested in watching the roundtable in its entirety can click this link.

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