The MFAA has welcomed the announcement by the Federal Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing, Michael Sukkar MP, that the 2022 Review of Mortgage Broker Remuneration by the Council of Financial Regulators and the ACCC will no longer be required.
The Treasurer announced this further review of the industry in 2019, following the Hayne Royal Commission’s Final Report. Since that time, the mortgage broking industry has continued to produce strong customer outcomes and implemented a raft of significant remuneration and governance reforms, working collaboratively with Treasury and the Federal Government.
MFAA Chief Executive Officer Mike Felton said the announcement served as appropriate recognition for an industry that has been reforming for more than five years.
“This decision reflects the effectiveness of the Government’s legislative agenda following the Royal Commission, which included establishing a principles-based Best Interests Duty for mortgage brokers, alongside significant remuneration and governance reforms,” Mr Felton said.
“This decision acknowledges the strong consumer outcomes mortgage brokers deliver, which is the direct result of the incredible work being done by 17,000 mortgage broker businesses as they continue to secure great outcomes for consumers.
“It is also the result of more than five years of constant and consistent work by the MFAA to equip policy makers with the information they needed to make the right decision on this Review. Over the past three years, in our regular meetings with Treasury and the Federal Government, we have continued to highlight key industry data as evidence of a healthy, thriving industry which has aligned its interests with those of consumers, so it was extremely gratifying to be invited to the offices of Mr Sukkar in Melbourne yesterday for a briefing, at which it was confirmed that the Review would not be going ahead.
“In recent months and weeks there has been elevated levels of dialogue on the 2022 Review, with Treasury reaching out to the MFAA to ask for an update on the current state of the industry and our recommendations on whether the 2022 Review was still required.
“Whilst our industry has always been ready to confidently face scrutiny if required, our response was to remind them of the effectiveness of all the reforms implemented to mortgage broker remuneration and conduct, as well as the success of the recent Best Interests Duty in aligning consumer and broker interests and expectations.
“Combined with industry self-regulation over many years, these reforms are delivering strong customer outcomes, and driving consumer trust and confidence in the industry – as evidenced by the key data on the industry, and the current record mortgage broker market share data.
“The alignment of the interests and expectations of brokers and consumers is also demonstrated through other strong industry data sets, including extremely low AFCA complaints, low arrears relative to the lenders’ proprietary networks and customer satisfaction rates that are unparalleled in financial services, or almost any other sector.
“Mortgage brokers now write two out of every three new home loans in Australia, making us a systemically important industry providing access to credit for consumers, and maintains competition in the home lending market. As such, we understand the need for oversight of our industry.
“However, scrutiny should be based on issues supported by real, independent evidence. In the context of strong industry data and the success of the Government’s legislative reforms, including the unrivalled Best Interests Duty, we strongly endorse the Assistant Treasurer’s announcement that a further review of mortgage broker remuneration is no longer required,” Mr Felton said.
Since 2019, the industry has grown from strength to strength as consumers continue to vote with their feet, resulting in the mortgage broking industry’s market share growing to a record 66.9% of all new residential home loans.
“Today, we are talking about an entirely different industry from the one that faced an ASIC Remuneration Review in 2016. Our industry has risen to the challenge and has grown as a force for good that supports critical competition.
“The work we have done alongside Government has driven trust and confidence in mortgage broking by fully aligning interests and expectations of consumers and brokers, which is clearly reflected in the fact that two in three home loans are now originated through a mortgage broker.
“Over the coming months and years, we’ll continue to build on our position as an industry that plays a critical role in driving competition, choice and access to credit for Australians in the home lending market,” Mr Felton said.