A leading broker has urged Commonwealth Bank to reconsider its recently imposed accreditation changes, arguing that mentees should be given exemption.
Speaking to The Adviser after a discussion over CBA’s new accreditation process for new brokers dividing industry opinion, director of Diversifi Rose De Rossi suggested that the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) should ease accreditation restrictions for brokers under a mentorship program.
“I don’t see why CBA don’t look at having some other criteria, [for example] if a broker is under a mentorship program with a certified mentor, or is able to demonstrate accreditations with other lenders, they could look at lifting restrictions in that respect,” Ms De Rossi said.
The WA-based broker added that she also expects other lenders to follow suit, but she warned that such moves will limit options for brokers and their clients.
“I don’t see why they wouldn’t [follow suit], but it’s going to reduce the panel of lenders [available to brokers], so major lenders should start looking at [easing restrictions].
“[If] that did come into play, it would restrict new brokers coming into the industry, with regards to where they can place their deals, unless the criteria are changed.
“[Under] a mentorship program, the onus would be back on business owners to make sure that their brokers are accredited over a larger panel to enable them to lodge deals.”
The discussion around raising accreditation and education standards in the broking industry has been heating up recently, with an increasing number of brokers suggesting that the current entry requirements are too low.
Another WA broker, Travis Meyer of Finance Detective, told The Adviser this month that he believes the Diploma in Finance & Mortgage Broking was “not enough” for new brokers.
Speaking on the Elite Broker podcast, Mr Meyer elaborated: “I think the diploma is not enough to go out on your own without that support. So, I think mentors, joining a brokerage to start with, etc, is definitely super important [for new brokers].
“You don’t want to stop the growth of the mortgage industry and new people coming in, but at the same time, we do need probably a little bit more support for new brokers and better educat[ed] entrants to come in.”
Commenting on The Adviser website, Steve McClure said: “Having tried to employ new brokers recently, I’ve found (some) even with both Cert IV and Diploma have been hopelessly incompetent at mortgage broking. Yet, the fees for courses are huge. The system is simply producing ‘paper’-qualified fee payers. It’s quite a disgraceful and leads to issues like this.”
Meanwhile, Atelier Wealth broker Aaron Christie-David said that “we all agree the industry needs to lift its standards”.
Mr Christie-David’s wife and business partner, Bernadette Christie-David, has previously told The Adviser: “I completed my Cert IV before I joined the business... and it did not prepare me for what the broking experience would be like. I have now gone on to complete my diploma, which was a three-day face-to-face course, and even then I don’t think that was enough.
“Everything I’ve learnt has been on the job, has been working through client applications, has been through the mentor relationship that I have with Aaron, and also connecting with other brokers as well. So, to answer your question, I don’t think it’s enough.”
The MFAA and Vow have both voiced support for raising standards so that the “industry’s minimum education is to the level of Diploma” rather than the Certificate IV Finance and Mortgage Broking (which CBA’s general manager for third-party banking, Sam Boer, said had “served its purpose”).
The current poll on The Adviser shows that more than half of respondents (60.8 per cent) believe that neither the Cert IV nor the Diploma adequately prepares entrants for mortgage broking.