Media Releases

FBAA strengthens small business links in industry first

For the first time, Australia’s 24,000 brokers have a voice at the table representing the interests of small business. In an industry breakthrough, the Finance Brokers Association of Australia’s (FBAA) Executive Director Peter White has been invited to join the Advisory Board of the Small Business Association of Australia (SBAA). “Most brokers are small businesses and now they finally have a vehicle in which their interests, concerns and ideas can be heard and acted upon,” Mr White said. The SBAA’s charter is to assist the small business sector to achieve their goals, minimise the rate of failure, and lobby and instruct all levels of government about the role and governance of small business. Mr White said being on the advisory board will help brokers access a greater array of support and communication for their business. “By joining the Advisory Board of the SBAA, the FBAA – through Mr White – is representing brokers from both a credit and lending point of view and also now on all small business issues and perspectives. Mr White attended his first SBAA Advisory Board meeting this month and was left in no doubt about the benefits of having a seat at the table. “Being able to talk about our industry was extremely positive and I know brokers will be excited with the future outcomes that will flow from being able to communicate directly to this key small business peak...

Broker body supports ombudsman amalgamation

The peak body representing Australia’s finance brokers has endorsed some of the key elements of the Ramsay Review’s interim report on external dispute resolution. The report recommends a single industry Ombudsman scheme for credit, financial, investment and small business disputes to replace the existing Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Executive Director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) Peter White said while the association welcomes the recommendation to unify the CIO and FOS, it has concerns about the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) also coming under the same scheme. “The ASBFEO should be left as a stand-alone Ombudsman because its responsibilities and dispute resolution matters are entirely different from those being dealt with by the CIO and FOS. “While the FBAA supports the CIO and FOS uniting, a future single Ombudsman must be properly staffed and budgeted appropriately to deal with the increased number of cases,” Mr White said. “It is economically sensible to combine both financial schemes but at the same time, we do not want to see a negative monopolisation to the market which impacts everyone involved. “One Ombudsman is better from a consumer and user perspective provided they have the necessary resources to ensure the issues are dealt with quickly and efficiently, which is not the case at the moment.” Mr White said brokers will benefit in the long-term having a single Ombudsman which is properly resourced and staffed and able to deliver swift outcomes to disputes. “Small businesses will also be better served with their own Ombudsman who can focus on issues relating to their...

Brokers warn car buyers to have finance pre-approved before purchasing

The peak body for Australia’s finance brokers is urging car buyers to do their due diligence and use a reputable lending professional when accessing finance for motor vehicle purchases. Executive Director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) Peter White said buyers should always have finance pre-approved in principle before entering a car yard to assist them in comparing different terms and conditions. “There has been wide publicity recently about the risks of motor dealership finance, particularly in light of the BMW decision to refund customers who were victims of irresponsible lending decisions. “Car buyers who use dealer finance have to make sure the person providing the finance is professional and is governed by a strict code of conduct and audit measures. It also provides security if they are a member of an industry body like the FBAA.” Mr White said it only takes a phone call or a simple online search to see if they are a member of a professional industry body. “Some motor dealers wrongly believe they are exempt from responsible lending guidelines, and the result is borrowers being given loans with terms and conditions that are not in their best...

FBAA continues consultation over ASIC funding model

The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) remains in ongoing discussions with Treasury and key profile industry stakeholders regarding the proposed funding model for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Under its second proposed funding model delivered to industry last month, Treasury wants Australian Credit Licensees (ACL) to pay a yearly base fee of $1000. For those ACL-holding intermediaries (brokers), an additional levy of $1.14 for every extra $10,000 they write above a $100 million threshold is also proposed. Executive Director of the FBAA Peter White says many questions need to be asked about this model and most cannot be answered at this stage because of the limited data available. “From what we know, the FBAA argues this model will not deliver a fair and equitable outcome. Furthermore, at the last critical meeting with Treasury where the FBAA was the sole association representing brokers, we were advised that the maximum that ASIC can recover is $15.8 million. “There are too many unknowns to support the proposed model and ACLs would end up paying much more of the $15.8 million needed to fund ASIC’s Cost of Recovery.” Mr White also argues the $1.14 levy could seriously erode the financial viability of smaller ACL holders, who could fragment to ensure they remain under the $100 million threshold and not be liable for higher costs. It is also important to note that the $1.14 levy could be as little as five cents but more data is needed to make this determination, which the FBAA has called for. “These fees will also create entry barriers, increasing the risk of driving ACL holders back to being credit representatives. This could shrink the...

FBAA says new EDR scheme has big benefits

The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) has endorsed some of the key elements of the Ramsay Review’s interim report on external dispute resolution. The report recommends a single industry Ombudsman scheme for credit, financial, investment and small business disputes to replace the existing Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). FBAA Executive Director Peter White said while the association welcomes the recommendation to unify the CIO and FOS, it has concerns about the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) also coming under the same scheme. “The ASBFEO should be left as a stand-alone Ombudsman because their responsibilities and dispute resolution matters are entirely different from those being dealt with by the CIO and FOS.” Mr White said while the FBAA supports the CIO and FOS uniting, a future single Ombudsman must be properly staffed and budgeted appropriately to deal with the increased number of cases. “It is economically sensible to combine both financial schemes but at the same time, we do not want to see a negative monopolisation to the market which impacts everyone involved. “One Ombudsman is better from a consumer and user perspective provided they have the necessary resources to ensure the issues are dealt with quickly and efficiently, which is not the case at the moment.” Mr White said brokers will benefit in the long-term having a single Ombudsman which is properly resourced and staffed and able to deliver swift outcomes to disputes. “Small businesses will also be better served with their own Ombudsman who can focus on issues relating to their field of...

Broker winner picks FBAA as his membership of choice

The winner of the National Finance Brokers Day (NFBD) ‘So You Think You Can Broker’ online contest has chosen the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) to fulfil his membership needs. Bernard Desmond is a private broker having made the transition from retail banking. He captured the voters’ attention with a passionate video submission detailing his broking aspirations. “Through my banking experience, I have seen how much the FBAA is doing in looking after the interests of brokers and promoting the industry to the wider community.” FBAA Executive Director Peter White congratulated Mr Desmond on his success and thanked him for joining Australia’s premier finance broking association. “Bernard will be a major asset to the broking profession and you only have to spend a few minutes with him to realise his passion for making a difference to people’s financial outcomes,” said Mr White. Mr Desmond believes private broking is the future and will take over the mortgage distribution space because customers now demand personal and detailed interaction when making such an important financial commitment. “I work by the ‘CARE’ acronym with choice, advice, research and education being the pillars of what a good broker should aspire to.” The 33-year-old also aims to be a mentor spreading the word to the younger generation about selecting finance broking as a rewarding career path. “I want to inspire young brokers and share with them what I have done but more importantly what can be done,” he...

Brokers advice on mortgages as bank interest rates rise

With major lenders currently raising their interest rates, the peak body representing Australia’s finance brokers is urging mortgage holders to consider the option of changing from variable to a fixed rate. Peter White, Executive Director of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) says it is not surprising the big banks are raising interest rates independently of the Reserve Bank keeping official rates at an all-time low. “We have been saying for all of 2016 that it was inevitable the banks will increase interest rates because their profit margins are being narrowed. The cost unfortunately has to be offset by the borrower. “For the moment, bank interest rates remain attractive, so fixing your rate can be economical but it depends on the borrower’s individual circumstances,” he said. Mr White said some fixed rates are cheaper than variable rates, and there are options to fix only a portion of the repayment. “Consumers should be able to reassess their mortgage and be released from fixed interest rates at times of rising rates however many banks still attempt to charge these fees.” His advice to borrowers is to consult their FBAA finance broker if they are unsure about whether their situation warrants a re-evaluation of their mortgage. “Brokers are experts and provide the advice most suitable to the needs of a mortgage...

FBAA award winners cross age barriers

Industry veterans and rising stars of the broking industry were honoured at the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) Industry Awards held during a glittering Gala Dinner at Movie World last week. The inaugural Awards of Supremacy recognised the finance industry professionals who excelled during 2016 for being leaders in broking, mentoring, mortgages, motor and commercial asset finance. FBAA Executive Director Peter White paid tribute to the winners saying their outstanding achievements play a big role in helping elevate the broking industry’s profile. “The individual award recipients all made their mark during the year and were fully deserved of recognition in front of their peers and colleagues.” George Samios from Brisbane-based MADD Loans picked up two awards – Queensland’s Finance Broker of the Year as well as the coveted FBAA National Finance Broker of the Year. “The future of broking is in good hands when a young man under 30 can be as successful as George has been. MADD Loans has grown into one of the best broking businesses nationwide,” Mr White said. The 28-year-old who began his broking career four years ago, said both awards were humbling, adding that age is no barrier to success if you keep your focus on the customer. “That’s the difference a young person has. You have energy, confidence, determination, and a will to satisfy the client. All you need are good mentors which the FBAA has in abundance among its members,” Mr Samios said. Steve Andrews from First Choice Finance Group was awarded Mentor of the Year while a special award for the Business Development Manager (BDM) was won by Suncorp’s Dino...

FBAA annual conference attracts record numbers

The broking industry’s leading professional member-based association continues to set new benchmarks with a record number of finance professionals attending the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) annual conference in late November. The event at Sea World Resort had as its 2016 theme, ‘Bigger, Better and Stronger’ and the conference more than lived up to its title with nearly 1,000 brokers and finance professionals participating. FBAA Executive Director Peter White said the turn-out greatly exceeded expectations with the FBAA annual conference clearly now the industry’s showcase event. “It is hard to believe that when we held our first conference in 2012 there was limited support but in just four short years, to now have around 1,000 industry representatives attending is astonishing. “The feedback, from our guest speakers to our extensive Exhibition Expo, has been exceptional and has set the standard in finance broking conferencing,” he said. Attendees also heard from a senior spokesperson from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) who provided an update on the ongoing review into broking remunerations. “To have Chris Green as a keynote speaker was extremely beneficial. He offered insights into the challenges currently facing the industry as ASIC continues its broker commissions probe. “It was also heartening to hear ASIC acknowledge its solid relationship with the FBAA as we continue working together to provide the best outcome for brokers,” Mr White said. The conference also heard details of a new strategic alliance between the FBAA and the Small Business Association of Australia (SBAA) which Mr White explained will bring numerous benefits to both associations. “It was an ideal platform to make this exciting...

What is the MFAA thinking? – FBAA

The Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) has questioned the results of a survey released by the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) and accused the association of letting brokers down. FBAA Executive Director Peter White said a report commissioned by the MFAA that asked about fee for service undermined the entire broking sector and sent mixed messages to regulators and legislators. “Firstly the survey is not credible because the question asked was in their own words ‘hypothetical’ and I believe misleading. “People can say anything to a survey question but when it comes to the crunch I question whether people will be willing to pay, particularly if it meant higher interest rates, less competition for banks and other factors that would result from such a shift.” He also said that the FBAA had researched the way brokers are paid across the world and had confirmed that the current commission structure was consistent with global standards – in some cases Australian brokers are paid less – but remain viable and competitive. Mr White also disagreed with the information being released by the MFAA about customer loyalty to banks, calling the survey and subsequent publicity bizarre. “Let me make this point clear – as an industry association the FBAA has never publicly criticised the MFAA, because we are all in the same industry working towards the same goals, but in this case we cannot remain silent.” “That the MFAA would not only decide to ask these ridiculous questions, but then release flawed results to the Australian media that cuts across the good work we and the rest of the...
Finance App

Download our Free FBAA Smart App for the latest finance business tools for finance professionals.

Look up FBAA events, finance news, send feedback, photos and VoiceNotes.