What industry needs to prioritise in 2020

Emphasis not only brings broking back to its roots, but better services customers bringing "no downside"

What industry needs to prioritise in 2020


By Madison Utley

Actively promoting financial inclusion should be a key component of a broker’s day-to-day activity, and is crucial to expanding one’s business, according to a specialist lender.

Liberty Financial defines financial inclusion as “helping people from all walks of life access credit in a sustainable and responsible manner”, the very reason the broking industry began – to help a multitude of customers with different needs through providing more choice.

“It’s not, ‘You don’t look like everybody else, so you’re out.’ That’s what inclusion is about: finding a way to help more people and serving the community,” said John Mohnacheff, Liberty national sales manager.

“At Liberty, we welcome all types of customers, and we try to understand their financial position. This certainly doesn’t mean everybody has the same borrowing capacity – far from it, but we take the time to grasp the needs of each individual and do our best to meet them.”

Brokers have much to gain from adopting the same attitude, according to the exec.

“The benefit to the consumer is absolutely obvious, but there’s an equally significant benefit to the broker. If brokers continue to make financial inclusion core to their business, they will grow their capabilities to help more people – growing their reach, skills and offering in the process,” Mohnacheff said.

“For brokers looking to improve their level of financial inclusion, the first step is to take an objective look at your service offering and consider the other ways you can help customers access finance.”

Upon doing this, brokers are likely to find that ramping up the diversification among the clients they support tends to go hand in hand with diversifying the services they provide.

“Diversification is something we talk about a lot here at Liberty, and that’s because we truly believe in the power of a diverse broker offering,” said Mohnacheff.

“We know that customers are continually seeking out brokers who they can rely on for personalised financial support – and who can advise them on all of their lending needs, rather than home loans alone.

“Our ‘Do More’ sessions have been designed to give brokers the support, information and product training they need to diversify and build their business into a thriving, financially inclusive entity. And, our extensive network of BDMs works closely with brokers to ensure they have knowledge and skills needed to succeed.”

To reflect its main aim of helping customers of all backgrounds have access to finance, Liberty has recently joined the Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) program.

“The FIAP is not just in Australia, but a global initiative that provides a clear plan and guidelines on how organisations can improve the financial resilience of their customers. We’re confident it will lead to improved outcomes for many marginalised Australians, with further benefits to the wider community,” explained Mohnacheff.

“We are the first non-bank lender in Australia to sign up. It just made sense for us to formalise our existing commitment to our customers. We’ve always believed everybody deserves a chance.

“This will further improve the way we work with brokers and better support them to build financial inclusivity into the foundations of their businesses,” he concluded.

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