A top mortgage broker has expressed his frustration with the level of scrutiny and negative news plaguing the industry.
In a recent Elite Broker podcast, Gold Coast-based Mortgage Choice broker James Hasselle highlighted that ASIC’s remuneration review, released in March last year, found that brokers create competition in the mortgage market. He believes, however, that the industry is not being portrayed in a positive light.
“To be honest, there’s so much negative stuff reported,” Mr Hasselle said. “I think there needs to be some more positive stuff reported. I think there needs to be a bit of a stand up from the industry when you’ve got the MFAA and the FBAA. They need to stand up and go back quite hard at people like [consumer group] CHOICE, who come up with one, single unhappy customer.
“CHOICE should actually go and do a little bit more reviewing and do some straw polling of different brokers and customers and see the differences. You'll find that satisfaction levels are above 80 per cent with most,” he said.
Mr Hasselle said that satisfaction levels are “far higher” among clients who use a broker compared to those that go direct to the bank.
Commenting on good consumer outcomes, the Queensland-based broker cited an example of how he could help clients above and beyond the services they receive by visiting their bank.
“It’s so rare you’re going to get a broker that’s going to go and cross-collateralise their clients,” Mr Hasselle said. “They’re not going to cross-secure the properties.
“Now, you go into a direct channel, 90 per cent of them are going to cross-secure. They are going to do that. You know what? When there’s a market turn, and when it does go backwards, those customers at the centre of it are in a worse position than if they’d seen a broker that had set it up correctly.
“At the end of the day, if the customer is at the centre of it, then that stuff has got to be considered as well. When it comes to a customer, it’s not just about a rate and a product, it’s about the overall position of the customer, and you’ve got to protect them for their future as well.”
Mr Hasselle was ranked 10th in The Adviser’s Elite Business Writers ranking for 2017 with $153.3 million in residential volumes over the 12 months to 30 June 2017.
[Related: Elite Business Writers 2017]
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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