Nine in 10 brokers would like to see more government support for the industry this year, according to a new poll.
According to a survey of mortgage brokers undertaken by broking platform HashChing, 90 per cent of respondents (the number of which has not been disclosed) said they believe the government should be doing more to support the mortgage broker industry in 2021 – whether in the form of financial or political support.
The remaining 10 per cent said they believed the current support from the government was “enough”.
The responses come as the industry experiences a growing compliance and regulatory regime, mainly as a result of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
One such repercussion of the royal commission recommendations was the introduction of a best interests duty (BID) for brokers.
Brokers were asked about their thoughts on the BID, which came into effect for mortgage brokers on 1 January 2021. (A proposed extension of the duty, which is contained in the same bill as the repeal of responsible lending laws – currently being interrogated by Senate – could also see government extend this duty to other credit assistance providers later this year.)
Seventy-one per cent of brokers responding to the HashChing survey said they did not believe that the duty was needed as a statutory obligation. However, more than a quarter (29 per cent) said they did think it was necessary to introduce the obligation to “better help consumers”.
Less than half (45 per cent) of the respondents said they expected that the fact brokers have a BID, but banks do not, will mean that “mortgage brokers will be even busier this year”.
The CEO of HashChing, Arun Maharaj, said that he was surprised that brokers were almost evenly split on how they think the obligation would affect demand for their services.
He said: “Given the onus that is now being put on brokers, I was expecting this number to be a little higher.”
He noted that when asked what other trends would impact customer interactions this year, 97 per cent of brokers said that digital technology would play a greater role this year.
“The events of 2020 forced brokers to rapidly change how they interact with customers, so it absolutely makes sense that 97 per cent of respondents believe digital technology will play an even greater role in their interactions this year,” he said.
“At HashChing, we believe the winners in today’s environment will be those brokers that leverage technology to work both the customer side of the equation and internal operations.”
Looking at demand more generally, more than half of respondents (57 per cent) said they believed the key driver of activity for mortgage brokers this year would be refinancing.
Mr Maharaj added that 38 per cent believe it will come from first home buyers, while the remaining 5 per cent predict investors will be their key driver.
[Related: CAFBA calls for targeted SME support]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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