Potential FAMNZ members in waiting game

Despite the Finance & Mortgage Advisers Association NZ (FAMNZ) setting up in Auckland in early February, it won’t be taking membership applications until next month.

New Zealand country manager Leigh Hodgetts says FAMNZ has been concentrating on back office processes and will go live next month when mortgage advisers can apply for membership.

FAMNZ is the NZ arm of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA). It has already asked advisers to indicate an expression of interest in joining the association by filling out an online form.

“We will make sure we do our due diligence on anybody joining the association, such as other organisations do,” Hodgetts says.

FAMNZ directly competes with Financial Advice New Zealand (FANZ), the industry body that represents mortgage advisers, financial planners and insurance advisers. It has arrived on the scene after a long period of unity in the sector.

Hodgetts says FAMNZ is dedicated to mortgage advisers and intends to conduct local research and comment on New Zealand industry and initiatives.

The association has already started engagement with regulators and had discussions about clawbacks and other issues important to mortgage advisers. 

It is also arranging to meet with the Commerce Commission, as soon as possible, to discuss the draft banking report released last week, in which ComCom chairman John Small said mortgage brokers were at risk of being “unduly influenced” by the commissions the banks pay them for placing mortgages.

Hodgetts says she would prefer not to say what she will discuss with the ComCom, but it will be an industry wide point of view.

She is consulting with FBAA managing director Peter White, to see if anything similar has happened in Australia since the 2019 Hayne report which accused mortgage advisers of keeping consumers in the dark over arrangements between brokers and banks, leading to dishonest conduct.

The mortgage advice industry fought back and Hodgetts says she believes White will have constructive ideas for ComCom.

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