Industry pioneer Mark Bouris has explained the evolution of his vision for Yellow Brick Road in a globalised market dominated by the big banks.
Speaking at the YBR ‘Be Local’ annual conference in Hobart yesterday, Mr Bouris explained how he pleaded in 2008 for the Treasurer (at the time, Wayne Swan) to do something about the concentration of power in the banking sector.
After witnessing the consolidation of financial services businesses on a global scale — including here in Australia, with smaller players such as Bankwest, RAMS and St.George being acquired by the major banks — Mr Bouris warned the Treasurer that problems would present themselves down the track.
“I warned him that in 10 years’ time there would be a problem," he said. "The problem will be the system, not any one bank, but the banking system will actually be unfair for consumers.
“Globalisation has created a system — I think, to be frank, an evil, sinister system — that actually eats everything in its path and destroys everything small and only enhances everything that is big.
“The effect of globalisation in any era is that it stomps on the people who are less privileged, less educated and have less power. It takes privileges away.”
Mr Bouris has faced intense media scrutiny in recent years for YBR’s financial performance and admits he was “smashed” by the press in 2016.
However, speaking to a delegation of YBR franchisees in Hobart yesterday, Mr Bouris outlined his new vision for the mortgage and wealth group he established almost 10 years ago.
“I originally started Yellow Brick Road in 2009 because I thought Australians deserved better advice. Now I’ve changed, I’ve evolved. My thinking has evolved and I would like to share it with you,” he said.
“My thinking is not that every Australian deserves financial advice – they do; but it’s more than that. I think every Australian has the right to financial advice and the right to protect that right for financial advice and not let the system take it away from them.
“As globalisation occurs in this country, in other words financial services becomes more concentrated, our rights will be taken away from us; [so will] your clients’ rights — to have a good life and retire comfortably and pay their mortgage off faster.
“YBR’s vision today is that our mission is to protect people’s rights, because they are being taken away from them.”
In its most recent trading update for the three months ending 31 December 2016, the group reported $4 billion in settlements, achieving total loan book growth of 20 per cent to $40.8 billion.
Mr Bouris has been bullish about the company’s growth plans in the face of recent losses.
“We are pursuing a $100 billion loan book under management which equates to an approximate market share of 5 per cent,” Mr Bouris said following the release of the company’s full-year results in September last year.
Meanwhile, following a decision in August last year to consolidate the business and move to a franchise model, YBR appointed former Aussie Home Loans state manager Andrew Rasby to build its franchise network and drive growth in the branded business.
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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