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Debate continues about mixing broking and planning

by Nick Bendel10 minute read
The Adviser

The convergence debate shows no signs of ending, with industry figures continuing to dispute whether brokers should also offer financial planning.

Mortgage website Flongle recently warned the Financial System Inquiry that firms that combine broking and planning are exploiting a “legislative loophole” to offer “conflicted remuneration”.

Yellow Brick Road chief executive Matt Lawler, meanwhile, said brokers should consider diversifying into planning because clients want one expert to handle all their financial needs.

That prompted Mortgage Choice chief executive Michael Russell to warn that brokers could spread themselves too thinly if they tried to become a jack of all trades.


Mr Russell also stressed that while Mortgage Choice offers both broking and planning, the group does not allow people to do both because it believes clients are better served by specialists.

“While there are some mortgage brokers who successfully offer financial advice as well as home loan advice, the two professions require different skills sets, which is recognised by the fact that there are two governing sets of legislation,” he said.

Timothy Munro, chief executive of Change Accountants & Advisors, said that his clients appreciate the fact that he can handle both their broking and planning needs.

“A lot of clients want the one-stop shop and they want that with the person they have the closest relationship with,” he told The Adviser.

“So if a broker has a great relationship with their clients, of course their clients would love them to do that.”

Mr Munro said brokers would benefit from adding a planning arm to their business, provided they had the time and ambition to gain all the qualifications.

However, he said Mr Russell was right to warn of the dangers of losing focus because it can be hard to combine the two professions.

“I’ve seen firms try to move into a new service and their core service suffers and then the whole thing fails to work,” he said.

Mr Munro told The Adviser that accountants are better placed than brokers and planners to master convergence.

“Accountants are the logical people to provide financial advice and lending advice provided they’re skilled-up,” he said.

“They’ve already got the tax expertise and the structuring expertise, and so it’s easier for them to move into another space than it is maybe for brokers or planners to move into each other’s space.”

[Related: Brokers challenged on financial planning skills]



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