by MPA  |  5th December 2016  (MPA – Original article)

The FBAA’s Peter White says only an industry association driven by brokers can truly understand the challenges facing brokers

The FBAA places a great emphasis on our statement that we are run by brokers for brokers.

It is important that, as an industry association, we are always driven by our members and what is in their best interests, and only finance brokers can truly understand the challenges and priorities of their peers.

That’s why the FBAA is outspoken on issues that affect our members, and are willing to challenge the banking sector in an informed manner when needed. While banks are, of course, an important stakeholder and we always seek to build stronger relationships with them, we are not beholden to them and have an obligation to speak openly and candidly when necessary to promote the interests of finance brokers.

“While banks are, of course, an important stakeholder and we always seek to build stronger relationships with them, we are not beholden to them”

While we often speak publicly through industry channels, such as this publication, most of our work is done behind the scenes, and carries the focus of advancing our industry, ensuring regulatory guidelines are framed to maximise the benefits to both brokers and customers.

The FBAA presents a strong voice to government and regulators, providing sound knowledge of the needs of our industry and its value proposition to brokers. The correct guidance and commentary being given to government is vital in shaping our future and guiding our current needs.

As the public face of our organisation, I am continually meeting with key decision makers, regulators and senior MPs and over the years have built a strong and personal relationship with many of them, ensuring our voice is recognised and respected. In fact, I have spent so much time in the halls of Parliament House, I am now the only person from the broking sector to hold a personal security pass to the House.

Serving our members in the provision of value-adding education and professional development is also an important and ongoing role.

The more knowledge our members have, the better service they can provide and the more successful  their businesses become. Many members have told me over the years that their success has been directly assisted by the role of the FBAA.

But education for education’s sake is not the best use of our members’ time. That is why we focus on assisting members to learn how to act according to regulation, protecting themselves and their customers.

We want to ensure that base-line education is soundly met to ensure strong foundations for future educational and professional growth.

Our goal is to exceed industry best practice, and we have proven that we are doing this successfully. The FBAA recently conducted an audit of ASIC records under the NCCP for enforceable undertakings, bannings and disqualification of brokers in consumer lending from July 2010 to April 2016. The results were staggering, showing that during this time there were 253 actions taken by ASIC, but of these only 3.65% were FBAA members at the time of the action.

This number is greatly encouraging and shows the value of being a member.

Added to this, our national conferences ensure the ongoing professional development of the industry is sound, and our content is based on solid, consistent and informed messages, which is why the FBAA
national conference has developed into the largest of its kind in the country.

Other important roles include compliance support and guidance by experts. The value of this was clearly shown in this year’s national tour, whereby the FBAA tackled the hard questions in relation to the minister’s directions to report broker home loan commissions.

We encourage all brokers to take advantage of the opportunities created by the FBAA as we continue to advance this great industry together.

Peter White is the executive director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia, which was formed in 1992; White has held major positions in the FBAA since 2003. He’s worked in banking and finance since 1979.