The head of one of the broking industry’s peak bodies has revealed he is in discussions with senior government and regulatory figures about broker remuneration.
Speaking to The Adviser, FBAA chief executive Peter White said he is concerned that some of the recent discussions around broker commissions, prompted by ASIC’s review of the sector, could have a negative impact on those looking to enter the profession.
Mr White said brokers should voice their concerns with the FBAA, who are best placed to have the views of the industry heard by government.
“Last week I was on a teleconference with ASIC talking about the review for broker commissions,” he said. “This week I was talking with ASIC face-to-face about the interest-only home loan review as it applies to brokers. Next week I’m having dinner with Minister Kelly O’Dwyer. The following week I’m back with ASIC talking about broker commissions.”
Mr White said he is having weekly conversations with regulators and government about these subjects as 2016 shapes up to be a “big year on the regulatory front”.
While brokers have been given little information about the review since it was officially confirmed by Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer in November, Mr White said more clarity is on its way.
“Come early March there will be more transparent discussions and more understanding of where things are at,” he said. “Depending what happens with the federal election, things might start and then stop.”
Mr White reiterated that all brokers should voice their concerns with the FBAA.
“We are at the forefront of all this as far as industry is concerned,” he said. “I know where their headspace is, their thought processes and if you’ve got something you want heard by the regulator, email or call your industry body, give them a kick in the pants and tell them what you’re thinking.
“We are the ones sitting and talking with the regulators about these issues and at the moment it is on a weekly basis.
“These are all top-level discussions with the people who are heading up these reviews,” he said.
Mr White said that while an investigation into broker remuneration is now underway, “it is very early days”.
“At the moment we are right at the beginning of the process where they are trying to get their heads around what they are trying to achieve,” he said.
“That’s why there has been little put out about this, aside from what the minister said. I know for a fact that more will come out shortly. Understand that regulation and government process aren’t as quick and fluid as people expect. It takes a little time.”
[Related: Bank flags broker commission 'challenges']
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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