FBAA says 2014 was year of progress as membership surges

The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) has reported 32 per cent net growth for the year, the second consecutive year the association has seen such numbers. Chief executive officer Peter White paid credit to members who “understand the substantial work the association does behind the scenes” and said the year was one of progress in many areas. “We’ve placed a big emphasis on prioritising the issues that our members really care about; issues that will help them grow their businesses,” he explained. He said the FBAA has always been a “grass roots” association, and that the membership growth was especially pleasing because there is no mandatory requirement by any aggregator or lender to be an FBAA member. “We are an association of choice, and our leadership structure has always been run by brokers with extensive industry experience and understanding.” Mr White pointed to the association’s career path objectives and the recent scholarship announcement as significant steps forward in the area of renewing the industry. He also labelled the annual conference – which is free to members – as a highlight of the year. “But I think the most significant role we play is the continued discussion and lobbying with government; working with MPs, regulators and industry representatives. “I believe the FBAA is the industry’s key point of contact with government.” He said the association wasn’t afraid to look at areas that have traditionally been difficult for the industry. “We moved forward in the area of vendor finance this year, and we even entered into discussions with the consumer action law centre in order to build a stronger relationship....

FBAA calls for APRA to investigate property valuations

The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) will ask APRA to investigate how mortgage valuations are calculated, as it believes buyers are being disadvantaged by valuations that are too low. FBAA chief executive officer Peter White said brokers across the country have reported huge variations in valuations for the same property, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of dollars. “This is not good enough. Valuations should reflect the true value of a property and incorrect valuations can in some cases prevent buyers from being able to purchase the home they want.” Mr White said increasingly, lenders were using valuations based on computer-generated market averages, yet this doesn’t take into consideration the individual property. “In the majority of cases, no one is physically visiting the property anymore, so valuations are being provided sight-unseen,” he explained. “Every property is different in so many ways, which is why individual assessment will always be more accurate than a formula.” A recent Queensland property purchased through an FBAA broker was given a valuation range of $350-$460K by a bank, however when the same property was assessed by three other online valuation companies, the valuations were $533-$643K, $537-$605K and $617-$695K. “How can a property of this price range receive valuations that differ $345K between the lowest and highest?” Mr White asked. He said it was time for the banking regulator to step in, and that the FBAA would be requesting that directly. “APRA needs to investigate the Valuation Exchange (ValEx), as well as the arrangements between valuers and banks and how the data is calculated.” ValEx has previously told brokers not to bother disputing low valuations...

FBAA launches free calculators for members

The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) has launched over 20 new calculators for the exclusive use of their members.   Following several months of planning, FBAA chief executive officer Peter White says they are now online and can be accessed through the members section of the association’s website.   Mr White said there is no charge to use the calculators from the FBAA website, and that members also have the option to embed them onto their own websites.   “If members want to take this option there is a charge from our supplier, however it also includes a lead generation tool that enables information to be collected each time a consumer uses a calculator.”   The calculators include every option a broker needs, including comparison loans, stamp duty, leasing, graphical representations of the borrowing structures, interest only and principal and interest loans, and many more.   “It’s a service we want to provide at no charge to members, and all calculators are easy to access on our site,” Mr White...

Finance broker peak body calls for better consumer access to credit reporting following Murray Inquiry recommendations

The peak body representing Australia’s finance brokers says they would only back a recommendation by the David Murray led Financial System Inquiry to expand comprehensive credit reporting data if credit reporting agencies also lift their game. The Inquiry’s final report recommends that lenders be given access to an expanded range of personal information from borrowers, which will allow products to be tailored to specific needs. However chief executive officer of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA), Peter White, says he is concerned how this information might be used. “There are many questions that need to be answered before the public should be confident about providing even more personal information,” he said. He pointed to the difficulty consumers have when dealing with credit reporting agencies, and said any increased credit information provided by borrowers would have to be matched by better access to credit reporting organisations. “Credit agencies make mistakes regularly, and it is almost impossible to reach anyone on the phone. “I have personally tried to talk to someone at one company without success and I’ve seen first-hand the mistakes they have made, which in one case took many weeks to fix.” He said you couldn’t increase the amount of credit information provided without also dealing with the reporting agencies. “One without the other will not work.” The FBAA said other recommendations made by the Murray Inquiry were also worthy of mention, particularly making the current bank risk weighting system more competitive neutral. “We support a level playing field when it comes to the ability of banks to lend. Why should mainstream banks have an advantage over second...

FBAA says APRA stress test comments are positive

Chief executive officer of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) Peter White has welcomed moves by APRA chairman Wayne Byres to “encourage banks to reinforce sound lending standards”. The chairman was commenting on recent stress tests conducted on the largest Australian lenders against a significant fall in house prices, to ensure they are “able to continue to support their customers through difficult times.” Mr White said the comments were positive, as was any move to protect borrowers during hardship. “It is during times of hardship that borrowers need the support of lenders who are willing and able to cooperate, so that they can get back on track,” he said. “A lender without this capability will detrimentally affect its own portfolio, the lives of borrowers and the industry at large. “Therefore we see these comments as helpful and necessary.” Mr White said brokers also have a unique role that allows them to stand beside their clients for life, in the good and bad...

Statement by Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) – Vale Tim Holmes

Statement can be attributed to FBAA chief executive officer Peter White. The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Homeloans Ltd chairman Tim Holmes. Sincere condolences go out to Mr Holmes’ family and friends, and all at Homeloans Ltd. Mr Holmes was highly respected in the finance industry. He was a leader and innovator of his time who will not be forgotten. His achievements were profound and his work will be an inspiration for years to come. Tim Holmes will be deeply...

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