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Bankwest focuses on broker training amid accreditation changes

by Reporter6 minute read
Ian Rakhit

Bankwest’s general manager of third party has said that the bank is putting “extra assets” into training of new-to-industry brokers as well as lifting its accreditation requirements.

Speaking to The Adviser on Monday (16 July) after the CBA subsidiary announced changes to its broker accreditation requirements along with new mentorship standards, Bankwest’s general manager of third party, Ian Rakhit, stressed the need for improved new-to-industry broker training and professional development.

Mr Rakhit told The Adviser: “Our accreditation process is robust; however, we felt we needed to align our mentor standards to the market.

“We are also putting extra assets into training ‘new-to-industry’ brokers, in particular, and supporting aggregator professional development sessions.”

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Mr Rakhit added that Bankwest consulted with industry stakeholders “far and wide”, including aggregator CEOs, before implementing the reform, which he claimed was a “direct response to recommendations from the Combined Industry Forum (CIF)”.

“One of the six recommendations talks about ‘introducing an improved governance framework that monitors and identifies risk, and requires the industry to take action and continually improve where issues are identified’,” Mr Rakhit said.

“We engaged (during the CIF and beyond) with multiple aggregator CEOs and leaders across the broker groups.

“I personally also went and spoke to seven different brokers who are active mentors for ‘new-to-industry brokers’ in order to look at the standards of how we do the mentor/mentee relationship, and how we ensure that is documented and what we expect.

“Their standards were listed directly from their programs and how they look at new-to-industry brokers to deliver these great customer outcomes.”

Mr Rakhit also told The Adviser that Bankwest has received a positive response from the industry following its announcement of the reforms.

The head of third party said: “We’ve had a number of inquiries that were all very easy to answer. We’ve also had a lot of very positive feedback, particularly from the broker mentors.

“[The broker mentors] have expressed their gratitude of us working and engaging with them to get their input to build the mentor process and standards that is across the market.

“All very positive, I’m delighted with the response.”

When asked if he expects other banks to introduce similar changes, Mr Rakhit said: “I can’t comment on other banks, [but] this was very much done in support for the CIF recommendations, and so I expect all banks to follow the CIF recommendations [because] they were our industry’s recommendations to meet the customer requirement, to meet the ever-increasing regulatory expectations on us.”

Mr Rakhit concluded: “I see this industry continuing to attract professional people to continue to grow our business, grow our share of the overall mortgage market, and I see the CIF recommendations particularly standing us in great stead for challenges that may be coming in the future.”

Accreditation changes

Effective immediately, Bankwest will require new brokers, or brokers transferring to a new aggregator, to:

  • hold a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking
  • attain a Diploma of Finance and Mortgage Broking Management within 12 months of receiving initial accreditation
  • hold two years’ relevant industry experience or have an MFAA- or FBAA-accredited mentor and return a signed Bankwest Mentoring Agreement
  • provide a police check that is less than three months old (Note: Changes do not apply to brokers already accredited, or brokers that have applied for accreditation prior to today.)

Further, the non-major has announced revised mentorship standards designed to make it “clearer for both mentors and mentees to understand the expectations on both parties”.

Bankwest will now require a signed Bankwest Mentoring Agreement for brokers seeking accreditation with less than two years’ industry experience.

As part of the Mentoring Agreement, mentors must:

  • be an MFAA- or FBAA-registered mentor
  • review and sign off at least 12 mentee deal submissions
  • maintain regular contact with the mentee
  • co-sign written records of all mentor-mentee contact as maintained by the mentee

Mentees will be required to:

  • actively participate as mentee for up to two years
  • commit to becoming a competent loan writer
  • complete the diploma within first 12 months
  • complete at least 12 deal submissions
  • maintain regular contact with the mentor
  • maintain current written records of communication and meeting outcomes (using the attached log if preferred)

The move comes just days after the CBA subsidiary announced changes to broker remuneration, which include new calculations on upfront commission paid and a review period to be introduced six months after settlement, among other changes.

[Related: Bank announces broker accreditation changes]

ianrakhit

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