Finance brokers can play an important role in correcting misinformation about the industry that has been widely reported due to the banking royal commission, according to the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA).

FBAA executive director Peter White says many brokers are concerned about the effect public comments from banking representatives and others over commissions and broker practices will have on their businesses.

He said while the FBAA was strongly advocating on a national level in the media and directly to government and regulators, brokers can communicate directly to their customers.

“Now is the time to change the conversation and focus on consumer outcomes, by reinforcing the benefits of brokers to our customers through words and actions,” he said.

“Nothing customers read or hear in the media will influence them away from their finance broker if they are entirely satisfied with the level of product and service they are receiving.”

He said that high levels of service will turn customers into advocates for the broking sector.

“Brokers should be regularly communicating with their customers through e-newsletters and social media, providing the sorts of tips, advice and information that people will never get from a bank.

“Maybe even clarify with customers some of the misinformation in the media, like the difference between ‘referrers’ and professional brokers, which was so poorly misinterpreted by journalists who should know better.”

Mr White said the industry must have one voice heard in many locations, and it’s time to increase the volume.

“This is the moment for industry unity, with associations working on one level and members on another.

“Banks have tried to divert the attention to brokers, but we can be proud of the service we offer and with the right approach by brokers across Australia, we can rally our customers to stand beside the industry and advocate for us across their social circles.

“In the end, the voice of an ill-informed commentator means nothing if our customers keep using our services.”