The executive director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) says notwithstanding current media coverage around the Banking Royal Commission, which will need to be addressed specifically and carefully by the industry, the broking sector receives predominantly good publicity and is clearly trusted by consumers, thanks to the public profile of industry participants.

Peter White was referring to a recent article in The Adviser that quoted a broker who believes the industry is being portrayed in a negative light.

“It’s human nature to be sensitive to negative pieces written about the industry you are involved in, but when you look at the evidence, our industry is well regarded to the point that now around 56 per cent of mortgages come via this channel.

“If the public perception was negative this would not be the case.”

Mr White pointed out that he regularly provides comments and represents the industry to all of the major media organisations across the country.

“The FBAA is very proactive in the mainstream and finance media space, across TV, radio, print and digital, and just recently was featured on the front page of the AFR.

“Almost all stories I am involved with are positive and informative, but I will also always defend the industry when needed, and will do so throughout the Royal Commission.”

He said the association reacted to recent comments by consumer group CHOICE, as well as comments from the chair of the Productivity Commission.

However he pointed out that bad behaviour by a minority of brokers will attract negative publicity, which is why the FBAA is vigilant in ensuring brokers adhere to best practices and regulatory requirements.

“The job in advancing the industry is never done though, and our association is working hard in all areas, including representation at the Productivity Commission, Combined Industry Forum and Banking Royal Commission.”

In the last month Mr White has met with Small Business Minister Craig Laundy, federal Treasurer Scott Morrison, and federal Minister Kelly O’Dwyer, as well as having three formal meetings with ASIC over and above the normal regulatory and industry interactions.

“We have 14 current open regulatory matters being worked on, and our engagement with regulators and politicians is second to none.”