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FBAA ‘condemns’ mortgage misrepresentation report

by Francesca Krakue4 minute read

The industry body has “condemned” the findings of a recent UBS Investment Bank study that suggested some brokers are advising clients to misrepresent figures.

The study found that 32 per cent of the 1,228 respondents who secured a mortgage via a broker misrepresented some element of their application, compared to 22 per cent who secured a mortgage via bank distribution.

Speaking to The Adviser, the FBAA’s Peter White said: “We don’t support these findings at all, we actually condemn them.”

Mr White questioned the accuracy of the entire survey, highlighting that the number of people purportedly surveyed represented only an estimated 0.09 per cent of all mortgages settled over the two-year time period.

He also pointed out that the study’s figures were inconsistent with APRA data and industry data, and emphasised that there was “zero credibility” in the claims of borrowers who admit to falsifying documents.

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“Let’s be honest — if you are admitting to misrepresentation on a legal document it’s very easy to blame someone else and claim they made you do it,” he said.

“This really should not be taken seriously, particularly with the stringent regulations around the broking sector and responsible lending criteria which brokers adhere to.”

Mr White added that the FBAA’s own data shows that there are “only a miniscule percentage” of its members that have had action taken against them, and that overall, brokers are doing the right thing.

“I believe that not only are these figures wrong but that they are based on claims that can never be verified,” he said.

“It is a shame for the industry that this sort of misinformation is publicised but I am confident the regulators, the industry and the public know the truth.”

Mr White advised brokers to remain vigilant when helping clients with their mortgage applications.

“Brokers need to not just scratch the surface; they need to look beyond it. And if something doesn't add up or make sense, they need to ask more and more and more questions so that they actually can be confident of the information that they're being told,” he said.

[Related: FBAA presses Treasury on banking transparency and LMI] 

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