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Canstar launches broker certification pilot program

by Adrian Suljanovic12 minute read

The financial comparison website has announced the launch of a mortgage broker certification program pilot.

Financial comparator Canstar launched its Certified Mortgage Broker program pilot today (30 November) in order to bring together brokers who have succeeded in “a rigorous review process” and Canstar in order to provide borrowers with “access to home loans in a way that best suits them”.

Earlier this year, Canstar partnered with Connect2Broker, a lead generation platform established by Local Financial Group director Ray Hair, to connect home loan customers with brokers.

It has now launched the Certified Mortgage Broker program to ensure that brokers joining pass the eligibility criteria:

• Hold relevant broker qualifications and good standing

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• Meet broker performance standards

• Pass the Canstar mortgage broker certification test to ensure that brokers have the necessary knowledge and skills to help consumers make informed decisions.

• Pass a work-related risk and integrity assessment, in order to help Canstar “identify the mortgage brokers who are likely to work best with Canstar’s customer-first approach”.

Brokers must be a member of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), or the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) to be eligible.

Additionally, brokers must hold a Certificate IV in Finance Mortgage Broking and Diploma of Finance and Mortgage Broking Management, they also need to have at least three years of experience as a mortgage broker in the past five years and have settled at least 50 home loans in the last three years.

Aligning brokers and Canstar values

Speaking to The Adviser, Canstar Gold’s chief executive, Paul Duggan, said the main benefit in gaining the certification is the “consumer awareness and trust that comes from the name of [Canstar’s] brand”.

“We know that some of our 3 million-plus home loan customers are using mortgage brokers already. We’re looking forward to helping these customers find a mortgage broker who aligns with Canstar’s values,” Mr Duggan said.

“Our market research shows that an endorsement from a trusted brand like Canstar - that’s known by four in five Australians - has more than 80 percent positive impact on consumer purchasing decisions.”

Mr Duggan added that additional research revealed that 50 per cent of consumers would be “likely or very likely” to use a broker that has been recognised or certified.

“The benefit will be not only to referrals, but also just being able to leverage the Canstar brand, and the awareness and sort of trust that comes from being associated with that brand,” he said.

Mr Duggan added:“We asked for, if they’ve got them, Google references and their Google score alongside five customer references from actual customers that have settled loans with those brokers,” Mr Duggan said.

“The pilot will run with a limited number of mortgage brokers invited to undertake the certification process initially through our existing relationships.

“After the trial period, we will look to open the program up to the industry.”

Mr Duggan told The Adviser that the program is expected to be opened to the industry through the first quarter of the calendar year.

Speaking to The Adviser about the partnership and certification pilot, Mr Hair said: “Connect2Broker has worked closely with Canstar to launch the Canstar Certified Mortgage Broker pilot, including the sourcing of selected participating brokers.

”We are excited to be partnering Canstar on an initiative that will deliver quality referrals to experienced mortgage brokers looking to grow their businesses.

“Canstar is a trusted brand that enhances the mortgage broker proposition of consumer choice, competition and customer service. Being a Canstar Certified Mortgage Broker adds value to the broker’s business and will deliver access to customers actively seeking advice and solutions.

“Whilst the number of participating brokers is limited for the pilot, we are confident that the Canstar Certified Mortgage Broker program has the potential to deliver significant value to brokers and a great customer experience to borrowers in 2024,” he said.

Canstar has also recently trialled its Mortgage Broker Referral Tool on its website, which will run independently from the Canstar Certified Mortgage Brokers pilot, Mr Duggan confirmed.

[RELATED: Canstar trials broker offering]

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