The director of a Perth brokerage has urged brokers to be mindful of their own safety after a recent sexual harassment case involving one of their staff members.
The broking director told The Adviser confidentially that a loan writer at the company, who also wishes to remain anonymous, successfully obtained a violence restraining order against one of their clients for repeated sexual harassment over a period of more than 12 months.
According to documents filed in Fremantle Magistrates Court on 17 March, the broker had received phone calls “of a sexual nature” from her client in early hours of the morning since December 2014. The caller had allegedly started “to leave voicemails rather than hanging up”.
The broking director said they had never come across a situation like this before during their 30 years’ in the mortgage industry.
“It’s a timely reminder that these types of things do happen and that all brokers should be mindful of their own safety,” they said.
While brokers cannot stop clients from accessing their contact details, the director said there are other things they can do to help prevent being harassed by clients.
“Profile your customers and be very wary of conducting home visits,” they said.
“We’re all professionals so we shouldn’t have to go and see people in their homes, particularly in the evenings. People can get time off to see their doctor or accountant, so why not their finance broker?
“I’ve also educated all of my staff to be careful when leaving work alone at night and to make sure that if they ever feel unsafe that they let other people know of their whereabouts.”
[Related: Banking hoax a warning to brokers, says FBAA]