The majority of brokers believe that licensing won’t clear unprofessional operators out of the industry.
Of the 474 respondents to The Adviser’s latest straw poll, 61 per cent said licensing would not rid the industry of unprofessionalism however 32 per believe that it will while 7 per cent were unsure.
But while licencing is not expected to purge every bad practitioner, it is hoped that it will have a major impact on raising standards across the board.
Michael Russell, CEO of Mortgage Choice, said that while licensing was no guarantee against unprofessional practices it would indeed help raise the bar in terms of industry standards.
“Licensing alone is not going to rid the industry of unscrupulous brokers but it will contribute to the efforts of head groups, lenders and associations to identify these minority players and show them the door,” he told The Adviser.
Mr Russell said these groups had been watching out for unprofessional players for some time and that licensing would make it a lot harder for them to operate.
Joe Sirianni, MFAA president, expressed similar sentiments.
“There’s no doubt licensing will eliminate some bad eggs initially; those unfit or incapable of providing a professional service,” he said.
“But it won’t guarantee professionalism.”
Mr Sirianni likened the new licensing to a driving license.
“Everybody needs a license to drive a car but it doesn’t mean you won’t speed,” he said.
For this reason Mr Sirianni said it was important for brokers to be members of the industry associations.
“This is why we strongly recommend brokers belong to a reputable association that has a code of ethics, high standards and ongoing training,” he said.
“Licensing is only a ticket to the game.”