The power of legislation: Ron Cole's perspective

How new laws have improved finance broking

The power of legislation: Ron Cole's perspective


By Mina Martin

Ron Cole, a seasoned finance broker with more than two decades of experience, has witnessed and adapted to the evolving landscape of the financial services industry.

Starting his broking career in 1997 after a successful stint with a major lender, Cole (pictured above) has consistently demonstrated a passion for helping clients navigate complex financial waters.

“I was given an offer I couldn’t/didn’t want to refuse and after I left the lender I thought, what now?” the Perth-based finance broker said.

His passion for the financial services industry made the transition into finance broking a natural progression.

Positive legislative changes

Cole points to legislative changes over the past decade as the most positive development in broking.

“The legislative requirements such as responsible lender and best interest duties have set finance brokers up as professional operators who are now stringently managed by ASIC, APRA, and our aggregators,” he said.

Cole said these regulations have elevated the professionalism within the industry and ensured that brokers can offer a wider range of products compared to banks, which are limited to their own offerings.

Human touch in broking

One of the main challenges in the industry is the increasing IT literacy among younger generations.

“It is a fact that before any purchase of items today a large percentage of potential customers consult online information and lenders,” he said.

The solution, according to Cole, lies in staying informed about macro and micro issues and demonstrating the unique value brokers bring compared to online applications.

“We need to show and evidence to our prospective clients that we are more than a machine or AI,” he said.

Complex finance made simple

Reflecting on his career, Cole shared memorable experiences, especially those involving first-time home buyers.

“I have a recent example of a first-home buyer who proposed to purchase a house and land package,” he said. “They were very excited but only had a rudimentary understanding of what is quite a complicated form of finance.”

This experience underscored for him the importance of taking the time to educate clients and ensure they fully understand their financial options.

Starting strong in broking

For those aspiring to join the industry, Cole emphasised the importance of education and mentorship.

“It is so important to find a mentor that you have confidence in and has a broad understanding of the finance broking industry,” he said.

Cole also advised new brokers to be patient and persistent.

“Allow yourself 12 to 18 months of some hard work with the revenue not quite rolling yet. But it’s a great industry with many opportunities so go for it,” he said.

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