The head of the FBAA has urged the ABC to do more to repair the damage caused by an inaccurate statement made about brokers.
In March, the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) called out some mainstream media reports on brokers which it said were sensational, misleading and seeking to “disparage an entire industry made up of predominantly small business owners”.
Following on from a royal commission hearing that touched on bribery and fraud through NAB’s introducer program, some media reports suggested that these introducers were brokers.
The executive director of the FBAA, Peter White, said at the time that the ABC’s Emma Alberici incorrectly stated on national TV [on an episode of Matter of Fact hosted by Stan Grant] that a gym owner can “set themselves up as a mortgage broker”, implying that no training or qualifications are necessary, which he said was “ridiculous”.
Mr White highlighted that brokers work within a very strict regulatory environment, and all brokers must have at least a Cert IV in Financial Services (Finance and Mortgage Broking), be mentored for two years and continue ongoing professional development and training.
However, Mr White has said that the correction is not enough to repair the reputational damage caused by the inaccurate statement, and he has called for a public apology and a follow-up story about the value of brokers.
“Emma Alberici should not only be forced to make a public apology herself, but the ABC should be doing a story on the fact that 54 per cent of Australians trust brokers more than the banks to provide them with the best mortgage advice,” Mr White said.
“This journalist is a regular user of social media but failed to even post an apology, and the ABC should care far more that they got something so simple so wrong.”
Mr White added that the FBAA would continue to help restore the public’s confidence in mortgage brokers.
“The FBAA will not stay silent when the media provide information that is wrong, and we will keep working to build on the confidence the public already has in our sector.”
[Related: Association slams royal commission reporting]
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