Media Releases

Economic indicators good for brokers

The most recent economic indicators showing a boost in confidence in Australia is good news for brokers, according to the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA). The NAB business conditions index rose almost 14 points to a record high of 21.1 points in October, while the ANZ/Roy Morgan consumer confidence rating increased by 2 per cent to 114.8, its highest point in seven weeks. “These indicators show that there is confidence in the local economy across the board,” said FBAA executive director Peter White. “That’s encouraging for mortgage brokers because it points to consumers feeling more optimistic about the outlook in this country.” Mr White said even though there was a very slight drop in households’ sentiment about their own finances, there was a 1 per cent increase in their willingness to spend on major household items. “As their confidence in the economy increases, they feel less pessimistic about their ability to make financial commitments such as taking on mortgages, or refinancing existing loans and that’s where brokers can play a prominent role.” He said with more consumers choosing to deal with a broker rather than directly with a bank, there is increasing scope for mortgage brokers to help borrowers enter the property market, but with a caveat. “I urge brokers to make sure the loans they write are not unsuitable for borrowers and that they meet their financial...

FBAA welcomes rise in broker business

News that mortgage brokers now account for a much bigger slice of the home loan business pie has been welcomed by the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA). The ANZ bank has revealed that brokers originated 56 per cent of its mortgages, or more than 99-thousand loans, in the year ending in September. “We’re very pleased to see those numbers, but we’re not overly surprised,” said FBAA executive director Peter White. “It’s further proof of the value that borrowers are putting in brokers.” Mr White said it has been clear for a long time that mortgage brokers are playing a more prominent role in the home loan sector as mortgages written by brokers have been increasing across the board. “On average, brokers account for more than half of all home loans being generated by banks and that’s because they are across all relevant options available to borrowers, not just the products of one bank. “One of the main jobs of a broker is to make sure borrowers sign up for loans that are not unsuitable for their financial circumstances and to maintain that remains the case.” Adding to that, Mr White pointed to the latest sentiment survey by Property Investment Professionals of Australia which showed that 73 per cent of investors have used a broker. “That number is expected to increase in the next 12 months and I think it’s a reflection of the level of trust the market has in...

FBAA watching new ABA appointment

The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) is reserving judgment on the appointment of ANZ chief Shayne Elliott as the new chair of the Australian Bankers Association (ABA). FBAA executive director Peter White said it’s too early to say if Mr Elliott’s selection should be welcomed by brokers because of suggestions that he’s supportive of brokers. “The jury is still out,” said Mr White. “I think he needs to be given a chance to show how he plans to deal with brokers and in which direction he intends to take the ABA. “To suggest that brokers should relax just because Mr Elliott is in charge is premature.” Mr White said it’s encouraging that Mr Elliott is on record as saying mortgage brokers are an important channel for borrowers, but there are some critical discussions that must be had between brokers and the ABA going forward. “It’s clear that brokers provide a service that has become the preferred choice of borrowers with figures showing more than half of mortgage loans are written by brokers,” said Mr White. “Even so, it’s unwise to take things for granted, so let’s wait and see what...

Brokers urged to be proactive during interest rate hold

Now is the time for brokers to be proactive with predictions by many financial experts that the official interest rate is unlikely to change in the near future, according to the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA). Executive director Peter White said borrowers need to be assured their loans have not become unsuitable for their needs. “One of the best things people can do is ensure the interest rate structure on their loan is suitable for their future and that’s where brokers can help,” he said. Mr White said brokers can advise borrowers to consider their short to medium term plans in order to judge whether a fixed or variable rate loan is preferable. “If they have no immediate plans to change their borrowing needs for renovations, extensions or the like for the next two to three years, fixing their interest rate for that period may be a good option with many fixed rates sitting at below four per cent. “On the other hand, a part-fixed part-variable rate loan structure may be a good option if people want to hedge their bets on all fronts. “The key is to wait for the best time to do it and that may be another six to ten months down the track.” Mr White suggested that with all the uncertainties in the home loan marketplace, brokers are the best placed finance industry professionals to guide borrowers through the interest rate...

Financial digital world shrinking

As the financial digital world becomes smaller, regulators, both locally and globally, are working more closely together to frame financial consumer protection regulations, according to the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA). Executive director Peter White said that regulators and ombudsmen in Australia are collaborating with their counterparts around the world to better understand and potentially streamline the financial industry here and abroad. “As ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft commented, and I agree, disclosure is no longer the solution in financial markets, it has limitations,” he said. “Our regulators and governments share information and issues around the world and in part that’s why the FBAA conducted its global research paper last year and why we continue to look at what’s going on in other markets globally. “We have to stay in front of the game if we want to help shape our industry’s future and by understanding the conversations our regulators and ombudsmen are having, and those of other countries, we can look to frame our position from a more informed base and guide our future in these discussions. “What’s happening overseas is playing out here. We were forewarned about that last year by global financial industry expert Steve Weston when he spoke during our national roadshow.” Mr White’s comments follow the OECD ASIC Asia-Pacific Financial Consumer Protection seminar in Melbourne at which the FBAA was the only broker-based representative body in attendance. “ASIC acknowledges that collecting unnecessary data slows business down and they shouldn’t be collecting data they don’t need or can’t use. “So why does ASIC want more reporting within the broker and aggregator space? They need to...

Borrowers urged to consider loans during interest rate hold

Borrowers are being advised to reassess their mortgages in light of predictions by many financial experts that the official interest rate is unlikely to change in the near future. The call is from the peak body representing Australia’s finance brokers, which says borrowers should ensure their loan has not become unsuitable for their needs. “One of the best things people can do is ensure the interest rate structure on their loan is suitable for their future,” said Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) executive director Peter White. He said borrowers should consider their short to medium term plans in order to judge whether a fixed or variable rate loan is preferable. “If they have no immediate plans to change their borrowing needs for renovations, extensions or the like for the next two to three years, fixing their interest rate for that period may be a good option with many fixed rates sitting at below four per cent,” he added. “By doing that, as rates rise, borrowers will be in front. “On the other hand, a part-fixed part-variable rate loan structure may be a good option if people want to hedge their bets on all fronts. “The key is to wait for the best time to do it and that may be another six to ten months down the track.” Mr White suggests with all the uncertainties in the home loan marketplace, borrowers should look to mortgage association professionals such as an FBAA member to guide them through the interest rate...

FBAA shortlisted for awards

The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) has been acknowledged for its proactive business model by being nominated in two separate categories for the Optus My Business Awards. Executive director Peter White is a finalist for the Business Leader of the Year award, while the FBAA itself has been shortlisted as a finalist in the category of Training & Education Provider of the Year. “It’s extremely gratifying, not necessarily for myself, but for our entire organisation to be recognised by these prestigious awards,” said Mr White. “We always strive to be the best we can be when it comes to setting high professional standards within the finance sector and I’d like to think that being nominated for these awards is proof that we are on the right track.” The Optus My Business Awards, which cover 28 categories, acknowledge best practice within a particular industry sector, as well as individual business leaders, excellence in customer service and achievements in innovation, corporate social responsibility and workplace culture. The winners will be announced at a black-tie awards dinner on Friday, November 10 at The Westin...

FBAA awards of supremacy

The 2017 Awards of Supremacy have been launched by the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA), and nominations close at the end of this month. The annual industry awards are open to all FBAA members and are designed to showcase their expertise and demonstrate the high standard of their work to their peers, competitors and clients. Finalists and winners will be announced at the 2017 FBAA gala dinner at Sea World Theme Park on the Gold Coast on November 24, adding to the excitement of the association’s annual conference, which will also play host to the industry’s biggest beach party! “The awards acknowledge professional individual finance brokers who are members of the FBAA, and who settle a quality number of transactions,” said FBAA executive director Peter White. He said the awards are not judged on large dollar transactions and the FBAA wants brokers of all backgrounds to apply so the focus is on quality not quantity. “Mentees, or brokers with less than two years’ experience, and mentors will be acknowledged on the night too,” added Mr White. “They are the key to the industry’s future.” The awards will also recognise industry business development managers who excel at supporting finance brokers, while there is a professional excellence award for exceptional service to the industry in any category as nominated by the FBAA board of directors. Nominations must be submitted by 5pm, Friday, September 29, 2017. For more information, please visit...
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