The Finance Brokers Association of Australia has formed a strategic relationship with another member association in an effort to broaden business opportunities for brokers.
Speaking at the FBAA National Industry Conference 2016, ‘Bigger, Better, Stronger', at the Gold Coast on Friday, executive director Peter White announced that the association had signed off on a "strategic relationship" with the Small Business Association of Australia (SBAA) to provide value to both the associations' members.
Mr White told The Adviser: "I got an email from the SBAA earlier this year, and I wanted to know more about them, especially as I'd seen research from a story in The Adviser which showed that many SMEs don't use a broker. So, I was thinking that this was a great opportunity for the FBAA to get involved with the SBAA and provide their 250,000 members with a much better understanding of how brokers work and what value they can provide."
After meeting with the CEO, Mr White said he realised that there were "a whole host of connections" between the two organisations.
He explained: "The SBAA has a lot of members that struggle with credit and are trying to manage credit issues. I thought that that is where the FBAA could help. We have a network of nearly 7,000 brokers around the country and I'm sure that whoever needs help, there will be an FBAA member broker not too far away that can provide assistance.
"We can provide them with the right style of broker who will then be able to restructure their needs and strengthen their position – because we have a lot of skillset in helping those who need lending advice in that hardship area."
The partnership will see the two associations meet at networking functions, and will allow the FBAA to market to the SBAA database.
Mr White said: "It's about driving brand awareness and showing small businesses what brokers do and reaching out to them and saying: ‘If you want a loan, you need to speak to one of our brokers'.
"It would be a good connection point for them, and hopefully help a lot of people, while at the same time creating a lot of goodwill within the marketplace."
As well as the strategic partnership, the FBAA is also sponsoring Australia's "first ever charter of small businesses", which is currently being written by the SBAA and will be submitted to the Small Business Minister, Michael McCormack MP, next year.
Mr White explained that the association hoped the charter would effect change and trigger government into writing regulation that will provide small businesses with a stronger regulatory position.
From a broker perspective, Mr White added that the FBAA is setting up a new committee for equipment finance and commercial lending, and will next year be rolling out a series of professional development days (available via webcast and live streaming), webinars and education pieces on how to deal with commercial lending.
"It's all dovetailed from those considerations about what we do as an industry body, and to proactively drive our brokers to develop in a professional manner.
"Brokers need better and further education in these areas to ensure that they fully understand what they are doing for small businesses and commercial enterprises. And that will resonate stronger with the business world. So, we have the education, we have the distribution, and I expect further great things with government, through the small business charter too."
James Mitchell has over eight years’ experience as a financial reporter and is the editor of Wealth and Wellness at Momentum Media.
He has a sound pedigree to cover the business of mortgages and the converging financial services sector having reported for leading finance titles InvestorDaily, InvestorWeekly, Accountants Daily, ifa, Mortgage Business, Residential Property Manager, Real Estate Business, SMSF Adviser, Smart Property Investment, and The Adviser.
He has also been published in The Daily Telegraph and contributed online to FST Media and Mergermarket, part of the Financial Times Group.
James holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and an MA in Journalism.
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