Industry Legend Offers Insight into the Future of Broking

An internationally recognised financial services executive has given an insight into how Australia’s mortgage industry may look after further regulatory reform and the likely impact this will have on brokers and lenders. Steve Weston, who until recently was the CEO of Mortgages at Barclays in the UK, is spearheading the Finance Brokers Association of Australia’s (FBAA) 2016 National Tour, which kicked off in Brisbane last week. From 2008 to 2012, Weston was responsible for the now National Australia Bank owned PLAN, Choice and FAST aggregation businesses. After spending the last four years in London, he is sharing his experiences from the UK mortgage industry at the personal development event. “The mortgage industry in the UK is similar to the Aussie market but there is a much higher level of regulatory intensity over there, which has both its positives and negatives.” “A big positive for me is that in the UK, the customers’ interests are put at the heart of everything that banks and brokers do but at the same time innovation has suffered because lenders are so focused on complying with regulations that they are too scared to stick their heads above the parapet.” Weston also touched on how lenders and brokers can use data and technology to improve customer experience, increase productivity and tighten regulatory compliance. “Brokers now account for over 70 per cent of mortgage flow in the UK and given the similarities with the Australian market, there is every reason to believe that broker flows should increase significantly above the low 50 per cents currently being experienced here,” says Weston. “That said, Australia’s robust economic performance...

FBAA Slams Media Report of Excessive Broker Commissions

The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) says a report of excessive remuneration being paid to brokers is way off the mark and damaging to the industry during this sensitive period of regulatory reform into commissions. Columnist Tony Boyd – who has written articles criticising brokers in the past – claimed in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) that broker commissions totalled around $300 million in the September quarter last year in upfront payments to brokers. But the FBAA’s Peter White says if those numbers are correct, when you divide the total into the number of brokers Australia-wide, you are looking at a monthly gross income of around $4,166. “That represents an annual income of around $55,000 which honestly can hardly be considered ‘over-the-top and excessive when the average Australian yearly income is around $70,000”. Mr White says hard-working brokers who put in extra hours to get as many loans as possible across the line do earn more but when you take into account the time spent, the remuneration is commensurate with national standards. “This AFR piece from a columnist that clearly has an agenda was totally misleading and even malicious and gave the impression that brokers are blatantly ripping off customers. Self-employed people have a right to earn as much as they can just like anybody else.” “Trailing commissions too have been unfairly maligned,” said Mr White. “The truth is they take time to accumulate and a year’s gross trail can never be seen as excessive or wrong by anyone’s standards.” The FBAA is concerned this type of unbalanced article can have serious implications on the ongoing review by Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) into...

FBAA National Tour Attracts Industry-Best Speakers

Continuing financial education is crucial for brokers and there is no better way to assist in personal development than by attending the FBAA’s 2016 National Tour, open to all finance brokers around Australia. Starting in Brisbane in late May, this year’s theme is ‘Build Your Vision’ with a select group of industry speakers on hand to talk through the very latest issues affecting the industry as well as offering participants advice and tips on how to help grow your business. Steve Weston of international banking fame is the VIP Guest Speaker and brings to the table more than 30 years’ experience in financial services worldwide. He is a highly respected figure in the international broking world. The FBAA’s Peter White says it is a major coup to have Steve on board for many reasons, as he has been pivotal in growing broking aggregations from the ground up “Steve was instrumental in establishing a trio of successful mortgage broking aggregators including PLAN, Choice and FAST. All up, he oversaw more than 4000 brokers and $130 billion in mortgage balances so it goes without saying he knows how to run a great business.” Marketing a broking business, especially in its infancy, presents challenges, which is why the FBAA is pleased to have a leading marketing professional in Deena Janes from Your Client Matters as another of our special presenters “Deena is an expert on digital disruption, and will provide insight and clarity into this growing issue and just how brokers can best adapt to the ever changing digital world. Her session will have something in it for everybody.” The FBAA’s top...

FBAA unveils new marketing toolkit for brokers – May 2015

Brokers can now learn the smart way of marketing their business by accessing a new toolkit developed by the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA). Created in conjunction with an external marketing company, the toolkit is a virtual one stop shop for brokers who can access online the latest tools and initiatives specifically aimed at helping brokers professionally market their business and product. Peter White from the FBAA says with the click of a mouse, brokers can conveniently and intuitively learn more about this vital aspect of growing their business through a range of tools and benefits tricks. “The toolkit has everything needed for the broker to promote himself and his business. From online calculators for just $99 to a checklist brochure and video content you can brand, this feature is exclusively available to FBAA members and of course is free of charge.” Mr White believes the marketing toolkit will save brokers many hours of legwork and follow up phone calls allowing them more time to focus on getting approval for the most suitable type of loan for the...

“Review your mortgage now, Interest Rates will Rise” – Finance Brokers Peak Body

The peak body representing Australia’s finance brokers have advised mortgage holders to review all aspects of their mortgages as warnings become louder about major lenders lifting interest rates. Peter White of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) says it is only a matter of time before the big banks lift their rates independent of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) which has kept official cash rates steady at two per cent since May, 2015. “The cost of compliance forcing banks to hold more capital, on top of increasing costs like IT infrastructure, inevitably will result in interest rate increases,” he said. Mr White, a finance industry professional for more than 36 years, says borrowers should not feel comfortable just because the RBA continues to keep the official rate at historic lows. “It could be 12 months before the RBA pulls the trigger, which will almost certainly be an increase, but just as we have seen recently with the Bank of Queensland, lenders will eventually lift their rate regardless, in order to keep shareholders happy. He said finance brokers are ready to help customers and ensure that mortgage holders are still able to service their loans by making sure there is a margin on top of the agreed interest rate to account for any increase. “My advice is for all borrowers to regularly consult with their broker or loan adviser to discuss the most suitable loan option for them moving forward during times of market uncertainty.” “A broker is constantly assessing these conditions not just from day to day but from hour to hour. FBAA brokers have their finger...

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