The regional bank has stressed its commitment to the broker channel, calling on policymakers to avoid reforms that would undermine competition in the market.
Suncorp’s banking and wealth CEO, David Carter, has issued a letter to mortgage brokers in which he reiterated his opposition to reforms that would undermine the viability of the broker channel amid proposed changes off the back of the banking royal commission.
“Suncorp remains committed to supporting a competitive and sustainable broking channel,” he said. “We support any model or change that protects customers choice and access.”
Mr Carter said that Suncorp has been campaigning on behalf of the broking industry to ensure that legislative proposal consider the unintended consequences of their reforms.
“Earlier this year, I met with the federal Treasurer (Josh Frydenberg), and more recently I joined my fellow regional bank CEOs for a series of meetings in Canberra with both the government and opposition.
“During these meetings, we discussed the importance of a sustainable, accessible mortgage broking industry for the 57 per cent of Australian home buyers who rely on brokers to find a competitive mortgage.
“Suncorp has a strong track record of advocating for vital choice and competition in financial services, including mortgage broking.”
He continued; “From the Productivity Commission’s inquiry, to our royal commission submission and ongoing conversations with political and industry decision makers, we continue to lobby for greater choice and access for customers.
“Because greater choice and access will deliver better customer outcomes and drive innovation and professionalism.”
The chief executive expressed support for a lender-pays model but called for the standardisation of remuneration across the broking industry.
“When it comes to broker remuneration, we believe a lender-pays model will best enable customers’ access to brokers,” he added.
“To address concerns and perceptions about the risk of bias or conflicts in any recommendation, we support a standardised approach to remuneration that fosters competition and access for customers, and the future strength and sustainability of the mortgage broker industry.
“The form of this model should in turn enable this model to succeed.”
Mr Carter said that he’s hopeful of a positive solution to the uncertainty surrounding the broker model, adding that Suncorp would be extending support to brokers to assist them through the reform process.
“I’ve taken heart from my interactions with both sides of government that there’s a clear acknowledgement that competition is critical to driving good customer outcomes,” he said.
“I’m acutely aware of the uncertainty you’ve been facing and the toll this has had on your business and, most importantly, on you personally. I know Mark Vilo, our head of bank intermediaries, has reassured you that we are here to partner with you to offer the education and support to help you in navigating the path ahead.”
He added: “I appreciate you have multiple lenders to deal with, each with potentially differing requirements, and there has been a lot of change over the past 12 months.
“We’ve spent time this year to listen and better understand how we can make things easier when you do business with us.”
Suncorp has also announced the launch of a broker-exclusive home loan offering, which involves a three-year fixed rate of 3.49 per cent (4.25 per cent comparison rate) for owner-occupiers and 3.69 per cent (4.52 per cent comparison rate) for investors.
Mr Carter concluded: “We fully support a thriving and professional intermediary sector designed to deliver customers choice and access to home lending.
“A robust and sustainable industry is ultimately in all customers’ best interests.”