Assistant treasurer ‘concerned’ about SMSF lending

FBAA chief executive Peter White has held separate discussions with assistant treasurer Josh Frydenberg and the corporate regulator in attempts to bring key industry issues to the attention of government.

Speaking to Mortgage Business, Mr White said the assistant treasurer shares his concerns over SMSF loans.

During a private dinner function in Canberra last week, Mr White admitted he was able to have “limited discussions” with Mr Frydenberg and gauge his feelings towards SMSF lending and other issues impacting the Australian mortgage market.

“We had a common thought process in regards to limited liability funding for SMSF loans,” he said.

“It’s a concern and if the data and analysis shows that it’s a growing concern then, depending on further deliberation on that, potentially things need to be done or could be done.

“Just because these loans exist doesn’t mean they should be there. It doesn’t mean they should go either, but it needs a proper thought process behind it.

“He [Frydenberg] is concerned about it.”

The FBAA chief also raised concerns over unfinished matters left over from the implementation of the NCCP.

Motor vehicle dealer finance exemptions, which were temporarily put in place for one year in July 2010, are still in place and the issue needs resolving, Mr White said.

The FBAA believes all motor vehicle dealers, without any exemptions, should come under the NCCP.

“We believe the exemption should be removed to have everyone on an equal platform,” Mr White told Mortgage Business.

“I will be submitting further papers and support of this next week to Mr Frydenberg’s chief of staff so we can entertain further discussions from there."

In a separate meeting with ASIC in Perth on the following day, Mr White flagged the potential for commercial lending extension boundaries under the NCCP.

According to the FBAA, commercial finance brokers need a registration platform resembling the initial registration regime for the NCCP.

Mr White admitted that those in the commercial and asset finance space are resisting.

“My view is the NCCP or part of one of the foundations of the NCCP was to get rid of some of the rogues in our industry,” he said.

“That has succeeded as best as it can in the home loan sector, but it has pushed them to the areas of least resistance.

“My view is they should have a registration regime for all other brokers. Therefore if someone steps out of line there is a means of tracking them or kicking them out altogether.”

Mr White said ASIC listened to these views and did not disagree with them, but added that any action by the regulator “will have to come from above”.

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