Phil Naylor started his address by clarifying the MFAA’s main purpose – to help credit advisers thrive. He said this underpins all activity undertaken by the association.
He confirmed that the ACCC has indicated that it will authorise our disciplinary rules again, which are currently under review. Several years ago the MFAA first stated its intention to impose higher educational and professional standards on members than required under the NCCP Act, and with the introduction of the diploma requirement last year that aspiration was achieved.
That commitment to higher standards is reflected in the MFAA’s SMSF lending program, were the emphasis is on giving credit advisers the information they need and to help them understand this growing segment of the market. More than 300 members have already taken up this program.
The MFAA has been heavily involved in lobbying over the last year or so, with the Financial System Inquiry taking up the main focus. The association’s stance has been that competition in the lending sector needs to be freed up and there needs to be a strong securitisation market for that to happen.
On regulation, the MFAA has put forward that it must be enhancing competition or at least must be competitively neutral. It should also be principles based rather than attempting to micro manage business.
The MFAA’s FSI submission also showed that brokers are diffusing competition.
Latest research has just indicated that broker market share has reached an all-time high of 49.9% for the 2014 March quarter.
Other lobbying activities are around the Housing Affordability Inquiry and Roundtable – with the MFAA collaborating with other associations to talk to the federal government about developing a national housing policy.
Last year’s MFAA ‘Life-Changing Conversations’ consumer campaign led to a significant increase in awareness and website traffic. That traffic and awareness will hopefully increase further now that the MFAA has rebranded its consumer website as ‘Mortgage & Finance Help’ (formerly ‘The Essentials of Borrowing’), which makes the website easier to find on Google.
The MFAA set several membership goals last year, and has achieved them all in a shorter than expected timeframe:
New year initiatives:
Phil also announced that he would be stepping down as CEO at the end of this year after 12.5 years in the role.