AN OPEN LETTER TO BROKERS
The two weeks since the Royal Commission released its final report have been emotional and turbulent for the broking sector. We want brokers to know that Bluestone stands behind you.
Over the past two weeks, since the official release of the Royal Commission’s final recommendations, the broking sector has been abuzz with concerns about its future viability should the final report’s recommendations be legislated.
The Royal Commission’s recommendation to transition to a consumer-pays model for mortgage brokers is widely seen within the industry as a potential death knell to thousands of small businesses operating right across the country. Further, a potential decline of our broking industry carries with it a real threat to consumer outcomes, as diversity of choice and competitive pressure among lenders would inevitably reduce alongside it.
As a non-bank, Bluestone does not have the benefits of an extensive branch network. As such, along with dozens of other non-banks, credit unions, non-majors, regionals and specialist lenders, our ability to offer more options for borrowers is tied closely to the continued vibrancy and competition the mortgage broking industry offers.
In an industry without brokers, many consumers across Australia would simply have little option apart from the local branch of a major bank. As smaller lenders disappear, so would the competitive price tension they bring to the market, ultimately leading consumers to be forced into less choice at higher cost.
There can be no doubt of the positive impact brokers have had on the industry in terms of increased lender competition and improved consumer outcomes. This impact is well-documented by industry research, which finds that brokers arrange a growing majority of home loans, and do so with fewer complaints and higher levels of trust than their lender-employed counterparts.
Brokers are passionate advocates for their clients, and without this source of professional guidance, many borrowers would be unable to realise their financial goals. As such, Bluestone remains entirely supportive of brokers and the work they do every day to help more borrowers access financial solutions not available at the banks.
In this time of uncertainty, it is important to remember that the Royal Commission’s recommendations are not yet set in stone. Over several decades, the broking industry has shown resilience and adaptability throughout some extremely challenging times, not least the global financial crisis.
Apart from concern and anger, in the days since the commission published its report we have witnessed inspiring camaraderie and peer support right across the sector. Brokers are currently working hard to advocate for each other and their customers, and the industry has launched several campaigns to help educate lawmakers and consumers about the invaluable work mortgage brokers do every day.
Importantly, brokers are supported in this fight for their industry by their loyal customers. At time of writing, the MFAA-launched ‘Your Broker Behind You’ petition has attracted over 36,000 signatures, and another grassroots campaign launched on Change.org has accumulated over 71,000 signatures from concerned Australians.
We want our brokers to be absolutely assured that Bluestone will stand behind you during this time, and we continue to support all efforts to help the sector retain its viability and strength.