My Opinion
Opinion

Important lessons from Australia

I was fortunate yesterday to attend some of the Mortgage Finance Association of Australia’s broker conference in Sydney yesterday.

I was fortunate yesterday to attend some of the Mortgage Finance Association of Australia’s (MFAA) broker conference in Sydney yesterday.

The MFAA’s nearest equivalent in New Zealand is the PAA.

The first session was under Chatham House rules so I can’t disclose the content. However, I can say the CEO, Mike Felton, presented a well-researched, reasoned and passionate defence of mortgage broking in Australia.  Plus he outlined a strategy showing how the association was going to promote and lobby on behalf of its members.

I haven’t seen anything like this from adviser associations in New Zealand. 

Indeed, the difference between what the MFAA was doing and what is happening in our country is stark.

If there is one group that should sit up and take notice of what the MFAA is doing it is arguably the life insurance space considering all the talk and discussion going on around commissions.

Felton's address also hit the right note with brokers in the room.

In time we hope to be able to show you what he revealed to members.

However, a couple of comments he made should resonate in New Zealand with all the changes going on.

The first is that regulation of the industry in recent years had helped lift the standard of advice. The message is don’t fear regulation; embrace it.

The second was an acknowledgement that mortgage broking was not a profession yet. “It’s not even an emerging profession.”

He said a profession is underpinned by education. Again that is a message which is relevant to New Zealand as the Code Working Group develops new standards for advisers.

- Philip Macalister