The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) today said the recent articles authored by Jessica Irvine of News Ltd constituted little more than tabloid journalism that displayed scant understanding of the operations of the modern finance broking profession and the regulatory and legislative framework that it operates within.
Ms Irvine owes consumers and finance brokers nationally an apology for the gross inaccuracies contained in her recent articles.
Peter White, Chairman & National President and CEO of the FBAA said ” Ms Irvine’s recent articles read more like an advertorial for companies such as Rate City and iSelect (who also receive commissions for home loan services/referrals), rather than accurate and impartial reporting as would be expected from a journalist employed by News Ltd. ”
“The ongoing development of the finance broking profession over the past two decades has provided the Australian consumer with increased choice, enhanced service levels and access to the range of finance products that we have today.
The professionalism of the finance broking industry has been significantly enhanced in recent years due to the combined efforts of Government, regulators and the industry with uniform licensing and consumer protection legislation now in place.”
Transparency as to commissions received and the obligation to avoid conflicts of interest so as not to disadvantage a consumer are keynotes of the current regulatory regime – two factors that Ms Irvine has chosen to misrepresent.
The initial Interest rate on a loan is not the only factor to consider when deciding whether a loan is suitable. A professional finance broker will take into account such additional factors as product flexibility, structure and loan features in assisting their customers in their decision making process when choosing a loan.
Commissions and trailing commissions are paid to brokers. As a mature industry this is common knowledge and full disclosure of commissions received is required under the NCCP. To represent that the receipt of commissions leads finance brokers to recommend credit that is not in their clients’ interests is once more inaccurate and sensational reporting. Additionally going to a broker to get a loan through a bank does not cost the consumer more as fees charges and interest rates are the same.
For Ms Irvine to call brokers ‘washing machine sales people’ is disrespectful to the finance broking industry (and to the white goods industry) and is further evidence of the tabloid nature of her journalism. No respect is afforded to the educational and professional standards that apply to our industry brokers nor the knowledge required to make an informed assessment of a consumers’ loan application. The FBAA would be interested to learn of the educational attainments and professional standards that led Ms Irvine to author such an inaccurate and biased article
The FBAA as an association has a mature and experienced member demographic with comparatively small number of complaints or Regulatory member concerns, and these recent comments by Ms Irvine are simply insulting and uninformed She should be censured for presenting such comments as accurate and informed reporting.
For Further Information Please Contact :-
Peter J White
Chairman of the Board of Directors, National President & CEO
Finance Brokers Association of Australia Ltd
(07) 3847 8119
FBAA National Office – First Floor, 386 Logan Road
Stones Corner QLD 4120