The peak body representing Australia’s finance brokers says some of the commentary around brokers from the banking royal commission is not only sensational and misleading but seeks to disparage an entire industry made up of predominantly small business owners.

The executive director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia, Peter White, said some of the reporting displays a lack of understanding of the sector.

“Journalists have confused terms like ‘introducers’, which is a program run by some banks, with finance brokers, who are industry professionals.

“We had the ABC’s Emma Alberici incorrectly state on national TV that a gym owner can set themselves up as a mortgage broker, implying that no training or qualifications are necessary, which is ridiculous.

“We’ve had an article by an economics writer calling for mortgage broker commissions to be scrapped and part of the stated reason was remuneration that the industry has already eliminated.”

Mr White said mortgage brokers were qualified, new brokers received years of mentoring and all brokers undergo ongoing development for their entire career.

He said it is ignorant for anyone to imply that a few people who do the wrong thing represent an entire industry, or that brokers are not professional and skilled.

“Finance brokers ensure the loans are not unsuitable for their clients, can access a wide choice of products, provide expertise, offer experience and give excellent service.

“Our industry is offering consumers what they don’t receive at the banks.

“Consumers are not paying more or disadvantaged by using a broker, but on the contrary enjoy an advantage over direct bank customers.

He said that like in any industry there are a very small minority of people who act improperly, but, “the fact that we see those brokers losing their legal right to practise is a sign of strict regulation that works.

“That a high percentage of Australians use brokers shows the level of confidence and trust consumers have in our industry.”