PLAN vows to support brokers in turbulent times

by Miklos Bolza28 Jun 2017
National aggregator PLAN Australia has offered a helping hand to brokers concerned about rampant regulatory change amidst increased industry scrutiny.

At a recent digital professional development day earlier this month, CEO Anja Pannek said the aggregator would continue to assist brokers navigate the inevitable industry movements from the ASIC remuneration review and the Sedgwick report.

“One thing I am very passionate about is that we maintain competition and a very viable and healthy broker market, as this will lead to the best outcomes for consumers,” she told attendees during the event’s opening session.

In an interview with Australian Broker, Pannek said that PLAN ensures it will work closely alongside brokers to help them adapt and thrive in these challenging times.

“Through our professional development events and by providing regular compliance and regulatory updates, we ensure our members receive powerful, relevant insights and direction about the industry changes and challenges ahead,” she said.

“At PLAN Australia, our duty as an aggregator goes well beyond day-to-day support. We’re committed to contributing to the ongoing advancement of our industry – by bringing the industry together and raising professional standards.”

In order to overcome this dynamic, challenging environment, Pannek called upon brokers to renew their focus on strong customer service and improved productivity to further grow their businesses.

“The key thing we need to keep top of mind is that customers should remain front and centre. Mortgage brokers play a critically important part in helping customers through some very challenging and tough decisions.”

At the event, which brought in a record 925 brokers out of a national total of 1,600 members, Pannek was joined by industry leading panellists such as AMP head of sales and marketing Glenn Gibson, Buyers Choice managing director Mick McClure, and Pepper Money business development manager Nicole Campbell-Burns.

Attendees were also updated on PLAN Australia’s performance this year. The group had seen continued momentum and was on track to exceed $65bn in total lending across the residential and commercial space, she said.

The PD day also featured talks on other topics such as housing affordability and first home buyers, the technical aspects of investment lending, and using the aggregator’s broker portal Podium.

Podium is one of the “primary catalysts” to evolving the businesses of PLAN's member brokers, Pannek said.

“Efficient, easy to use and functionally rich, the system is designed to help maximise customer relationships and grow brokers’ businesses further. Podium takes care of our member’ business management needs as they progress with the client along the customer lifecycle.”

As a CRM tool, Podium stores all client interactions, from notes about phone calls and preliminary assessments to marketing campaign details – creating comprehensive client records which Pannek said is key to building both a profitable business and valuable, long-term customer relationships.

The PD event also featured broker engagement with more than 60 live questions and comments submitted by members. ‘On-the-go members’ also took advantage of the online format with more than 10% watching from their mobile devices.

PLAN Australia is committed to providing high quality training and education to members in a variety of different ways,” Pannek said. “Considering our members who might be travelling, we made the PD Day digital, and also available on smartphones and tablets for a quicker and easier access.”

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COMMENTS

  • by 28/06/2017 12:32:09 PM

    Unfortunately, it is hard for PLAN to be truly independent and represent the best interests of its members when it is part of the NAB Group. The comments appear to accept that the Sedgwick review and its proposed changes to commission structures are a fait accompli. Other non-aligned aggregators and market participants have been vocal in criticising the Sedgwick Report for its biased views representing the interests and profits of the Big Banks, who paid for the report through the ABA, and its lack of industry consultation and analysis. The real motives of the report are to reduce the banks costs and improve profitability. Generally, larger loans are more complex, involve complex structures with interposed family trusts and companies, are more time consuming and deserve a higher amount of commission. As a result, linking commission to loan size is entirely reasonable. Banks also derive greater interest income from higher loans and unsurprisingly, they are not suggesting that their customers pay a flat fee / interest amount

  • by 28/06/2017 5:40:51 PM

    Agree, the banks will do ANYTHING to increase profitability, and SQUASH brokers if needed. Westpac tried this 10 years ago. Broking Industry will need to band together. (The companies that aren't in bed with the banks!)

    This Sedgwick Report is proof of that...any excuse to cut brokers commissions.

    How they can even consider using this bulldust bank sponsored report for anything to do with changes to the broking industry after ASIC performed their own independent and thorough review is astonishing.

    I expect changes, collusion and a big stand off in the coming months.

    The lack of vocal support for the brokers from the Big Four has been very noticeable over the last 6 months.