The MFAA has announced the launch of a consumer advertising campaign, starting next week, which advocates referring to its members as ‘MFAA approved credit advisers’, rather than ‘brokers’ – a move the group says reflects the new accreditation and value provided by its members.
However, FBAA president, Peter White, says the move could simply lead to borrower confusion and inaccurate generalisations.
“All brokers are credit advisers as such and I think it’s sort of creating [the impression] that others in the industry are not…I’m more against the fact that they can’t be called professionals, but that’s another argument again.
“I think it causes confusion for the consumer. And the reality is that, at the end of the day…we talk about mortgage brokers, but they’re finance brokers. A mortgage broker is, in actual fact, somebody who has a very limited scope and knowledge because all they know is mortgages. A finance broker is someone who should be able to deal with any sort of finance; it’s what the greater industry is.”
Naylor, who issued a notice to MFAA members earlier this week regarding the proposed name change, admits that the switch will take time and says the organisation is providing assistance to those interested in rebranding themselves as credit advisers.
“We recognise that the shift from ‘broker’ to ‘credit adviser’ will not happen overnight and will require some education to ensure that property investors and businesses clearly understand what a credit adviser does.”
To help you promote yourself to clients, we’ve created a logo which incorporates the new ‘credit adviser’ term, as a replacement to the ‘Approved Broker’ logo. However don’t panic if you already have the ‘Approved Broker’ logo on your business cards and stationery, because there is no requirement for an immediate change.”
In the meantime, White hopes the term doesn’t stick.
“I think it’s a dangerous thing to categorise yourself as being one thing…in a marketplace that’s become highly competitive. We know there are at least 34,000 odd people in this game now and if you want to specialise in something, that’s fine; but if you want to be there as a broader practitioner…then you really want to be known as a finance broker.”
We’d like to hear what you think of the proposed name change – give us your arguments in the comment box below.