eChoice responds to talk of further regulatory changes

ASX-listed mortgage aggregator eChoice says communication in the mortgage industry needs to be strengthened to avoid unintended consequences arising from future regulation and policy changes.

eChoice general manager of aggregation Blake Buchanan said aggregators are set to become a pivotal player in keeping the lines of communication open and active, should the regulators make further recommendations.

“With APRA and ASIC unlikely to stay silent during 2016, the potential for additional ‘supervision’ for the mortgage industry remains and we see ourselves as being the critical point of difference to how brokers meet the expectations of customers in a fluid regulatory environment,” Mr Buchanan said.

“We therefore expect change to happen and have ensured effective structures are already in place within our compliance programs to support brokers dealing with customers at the coalface through regular communication that is clear, timely and consistent.”

Mr Buchanan said all brokers “need to be assured their aggregator is prepared, so their business isn’t negatively impacted when this invariably happens”.

“They need to feel supported and confident in their communication with the borrower and that can only come if the aggregator takes the role of quality control and embraces forward thinking,” he added.

“As the regulatory platform changes, communication between lenders and brokers will need to move to a new level to ensure expectations are met across all channels – and in particular the needs of the customer.

“Speed of loan approval is obviously still important, but consistency in communication in the current environment is paramount. We want to avoid brokers becoming disenfranchised as policy and processing changes continue to affect the customer experience.”

Mr Buchanan noted policymakers also need to be wary of the impact changes could potentially have on the industry in relation to volume flow.

“Ensuring we bridge all communication gaps will serve to protect our industry by illustrating to governing bodies that the customer is at the centre of everything we do,” he said.

[Related: AFG urges borrowers to stand up for brokers]

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