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A fifth of brokers unfazed by responsible lending changes: survey

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Malavika Santhebennur 3 minute read

Almost one in five mortgage brokers does not believe the proposed changes to responsible lending laws would make a difference to them, according to a survey.

Mortgage broker platform HashChing conducted a survey of mortgage broker sentiment on a number of recent federal government announcements, including the proposal to relax lending criteria laws, and the federal budget.

The survey, which was conducted on the week commencing 19 October, found that 19 per cent of mortgage brokers did not think the changes to the responsible lending laws would have an impact on them when asked specifically whether these changes would make a difference for brokers.

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On the other hand, 63 per cent of respondents said the changes would make a difference for brokers, while 18 per cent were unsure.

Commenting on this finding, HashChing CEO Arun Maharaj said: “I was a little surprised by these numbers. The fact that 18 per cent of respondents were unsure, and a further 19 per cent didn’t think that the changes would have an impact, means that as an industry we still have a way to go in educating brokers on these changes and how they will affect their day-to-day operations and dealings with customers.”

“The reality is that the changes should give brokers the ability to deliver on faster approval times and generally make things more efficient.”

When asked whether the relaxed lending criteria would be good for the long-term health of the housing market, 85 per cent said “yes – borrower beware is a good standard for the long term”, while 15 per cent opted for “no – lender beware is better for the long term”.

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Elsewhere in the survey, when asked whether the government has done enough to support the mortgage/lending industry through the pandemic, brokers were split – 55 per cent opted for “no” while 45 per cent felt that the government had provided sufficient support.

Mr Maharaj said that it was unsurprising that brokers were almost split in their opinions about the issue, given the tumultuous year they have endured.

“What we have seen at HashChing during the past six months, however, is a willingness from brokers to try new things and get up to speed on new ways of working,” he said.

“Many of the brokers on our platform have really embraced the shift to digital operations and remote working – to the point where they’re not just surviving, but thriving.”

Responding to a question about whether they were happy with the 2020-21 federal budget update, 71 per cent said they were, while 29 per cent of respondents were not happy. Mr Maharaj commended the expansion of the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLDS).

When asked which of the current government policies would be most important to the health of the housing market (respondents could choose up to two responses), 67 per cent opted for the HomeBuilder scheme, 52 per cent opted for the FHLDS, while 37 per cent chose negative gearing and only 4 per cent opted for the First Home Super Saver Scheme.

The majority of respondents (63 per cent) do not believe the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will lower interest rates this year, while 37 per cent believe rates will be slashed.

This is in contrast to predictions by economists, with CBA chief economist Stephen Halmarick stating that a November rate by the RBA looks “all but certain”, while Westpac chief economist Bill Evans revised his expectations, stating that a rate cut could occur on 3 November.

[Related: Aggregator heads to consult with government over credit changes]

A fifth of brokers unfazed by responsible lending changes: survey
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

 

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