The Finance Brokers Association of Australia has told the Senate economics references committee’s inquiry into consumer protection in the banking, insurance and financial sector of the value proposition of brokers.
On 29 November 2016, the Senate referred an inquiry into the regulatory framework for the protection of consumers, including small businesses, in the banking, insurance and financial services sector (including managed investment schemes) to the Senate economics references committee for report by 30 March 2018.
Submissions closed on 7 March 2017 and a public hearing was held yesterday in Sydney.
The FBAA was the only group representing the lending sector to be invited to give input to the inquiry. The executive director of the association was asked about responsible lending requirements, ASIC’s review of broker remuneration structures, the Sedgwick Review, and bank breaches of the responsible lending regulations, amongst other topics.
Other witnesses asked to attend the hearing were the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC), consumer protection group CHOICE, the Financial Ombudsman Service Australia, the Consumer Action Law Centre and Financial Rights Legal Centre, and the Financial Services Council.
“Being asked to attend the inquiry is an important opportunity,” said executive director Peter White.
“It’s crucial, not just for brokers but also for consumers, that the inquiry sets out appropriate guidelines to be followed in the future.
“Being there [gave] us the opportunity to offer advice and answer questions based on our combined decades of practical experience in the sector.”
The FBAA noted its ongoing engagement with government and regulatory bodies, such as its meeting with business leaders and Malcolm Turnbull at a business leaders meeting in Launceston last week and its recent invitation from the Treasury to enter the stakeholder budget lockup in May.
Mr White is also reportedly scheduled to have a series of meetings with ASIC in the coming month to discuss their remuneration review and the Sedgwick Review.