On the final day for 2010, The Adviser thought it timely to reflect on some of the major events that have shaped the last 12 months.
Back in January FBAA president Peter White warned brokers that trail commissions were under threat. He said that while trailing commissions might hang around for some time, the industry has already seen some lenders make reductions.
In March Macquarie Bank announced its plans to re-enter the mortgage market, after its shock exit during the Global Financial Crisis.
Speaking to The Adviser Macquarie’s executive director Frank Ganis said the bank would ramp up its presence in the third party distribution channel over the next 12 months, with the lender offering an integrated financial services product which targets a specific group of borrowers.
In the same month, the Reserve Bank decided it was prudent to lift the official cash rate for the first time in 2010.
In April The Adviser ranked the major banks’ third party operations. CBA narrowly beat ANZ for first place followed by St George, Westpac and NAB.
Then, in June ASIC reported that more than 10,000 brokers, lenders and intermediaries had applied for an Australian Credit Licence, as they rushed to meet the 18 June ‘early consideration’ deadline. That figure rose to 14,800 by the final deadline.
In August Mortgage Choice took out top honours for the second year running in The Adviser's Top 25 Brokerage report. The ASX listed brokerage posted a solid performance with over $9.4 billion in loan volumes, a 98 per cent online lodgement rate and over $16.7 million in broker productivity.
In September St George announced cuts to its trail commissions. The bank removed its first year 15 basis point trail but it also increased potential up-front payments from 60 to 70 basis points. Days later Westpac told brokers that it would no longer pay trailing commission on all new loans that are more than 30 days in arrears.
In November all four majors lifted their rates above and beyond the RBA’s 25 basis point rate hike, with CBA lifting its SVR by 0.45 per cent.
A few weeks later,ANZ announced that it would trim broker commissions.
Brokers will retain their current base commission of 0.500 per cent, however the total commission they can earn in the first year, including bonus payments, has been reduced from 0.7 per cent to 0.675 per cent.
Later that month Treasurer Wayne Swan attempted to reintroduce competition to the mortgage market with the launch of the national banking reforms.
Included in the reforms was the proposed banning of mortgage exit fees as well as another boost to the government’s RMBS scheme. Many non-bank lenders voiced their dissatisfaction towards the reforms with Aussie’s executive chairman John Symond labelling them a “joke”.
But perhaps the biggest issue for 2010 has been licensing. The government's National Consumer Credit Protection Act has dominated office fodder for the past 12 months, and now the licence application deadline has finally arrived, with brokers forced to decide today whether or not they will hold their own licence in 2011.
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