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James Symond on the benefits of being bank-owned

by James Mitchell4 minute read
James Symond

Earlier this year, CBA snapped up the remaining 20 per cent of Aussie Home Loans. The brokerage’s chief executive, James Symond, explained why this is good news for all.

While much criticism has been directed towards vertical integration, in an era of increased compliance and squeezed margins, it’s easy to see the upside, too.

Aussie CEO James Symond told The Adviser that the main benefit for Australia’s biggest broker is that CBA is keen to retain its independence and run its own show.

“We’ve been doing pretty well for 26 years and, thankfully, they don’t want to mess with a winning formula,” Mr Symond said.

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“From a risk and compliance perspective, we’re already pretty solid, but we’re getting even stronger in this area thanks to CBA’s processes, and we can also leverage their relationships and supplier agreements to access better rates, which is a huge plus. Other than that, it’s business as usual.”

Mr Symond has seen the Australian mortgage broking industry go through a myriad of changes over the last quarter century.

“From non-existent to a sophisticated, trusted and commonplace way for Australian home owners and investors to get a home loan, it’s been an incredible ride; although not without its challenges,” the CEO said.

“Technology has been one of the biggest influences on the industry, literally changing the way we write home loans from a paper form 26 years ago to it now being completely digital.”

Mr Symond said that regulation has also seen dramatic changes to compliance requirements.

“Then there’s competition, with more and more lenders, aggregators and brokerages entering the field by the day, it seems. The landscape is vastly different, but one thing that hasn’t changed is our presence, success and continued focus on getting great outcomes for our customers.”

[Related: Aussie chairman sells stake for $164m in CBA shares]

james symond

James Mitchell

James Mitchell

AUTHOR

James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.

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