Consumers to back brokers amid Australian regulator's review of remuneration

by NZ Adviser18 Mar 2016
Across the ditch, ASX-listed aggregator AFG has launched a consumer initiative encouraging satisfied broker clients to support the broker channel as Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) gets its remuneration review of the industry underway.

 AFG has created a website, MyBrokerMyChoice, to educate consumers about the review, highlight the importance of the mortgage broking sector and encourage them to take action and get involved to help.

 The site features an online petition consumers can sign and provides consumers with email templates to contact their local member of parliament to express their support of the mortgage broking industry. It also allows brokers themselves to give their feedback and gives both brokers an consumers the tools to share the information across their social media platforms.

“The majority of consumers are going through brokers these days and we think the overwhelming majority are happy. We survey customers on behalf of our brokers and they are getting a really high satisfaction rate with consumers,” said AFG managing director Brett McKeon.

“After 21 years of being in business and experiencing growth year-on-year, if brokers weren’t doing the right thing then it would get out and about in the public domain and consumers would not be supporting our channel and we wouldn’t see the growth we are seeing. We think consumers would be happy to get behind us.”

The MyBrokerMyChoice website has already been opened up to the AFG network, however McKeon says he hopes all brokers will get on board and encourage their clients to use the site and show their support. The site has not been branded as AFG. 

“At the end of the day this enquiry wasn’t generate by ASIC, it was generated by politicians so it is really important for brokers to go back to politicians in their own right and spell out the importance of what we are doing for consumers and competition, but also at the same time if we can get the broker’s customer to go back to the politicians and advocate for us then that is the most powerful tool we have got,” said McKeon.

“We have not branded [MyBrokerMyChoice] AFG and we are happy to open it up to all of our competitors and to the MFAA and FBAA. If we get brokers supporting us outside of AFG then hopefully we can reach millions of consumers.”

AFG hopes to get more than a million consumers signing the petition and contacting their local MP. However, to do this, McKeon says it is important brokers spend time educating consumers about the review and how it could affect them.

“I don’t think consumers are overtly aware of [the review] at all, so I think it is important for brokers to educate them and the consequences of any change. 

“If they try to get a fee-for service it really would mean the end of an industry. It would reinforce the big vertically integrated banks and that is obviously not in the nation’s best interest.”

This article is from our sister site Australian Broker by Julia Corderoy.

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