Naylor defends bank-owned aggregators

There is no evidence that bank-owned aggregators incentivise commission structures, according to the MFAA.

Speaking to Mortgage Business, MFAA chief executive Phil Naylor said there is no conflict of interest involved in banks' buying up aggregators.

“There is not a lot of public information here, but I am not seeing any evidence that bank-owned aggregators are favouring the bank that owns them,” Mr Naylor said.

“If they did, they would be destroying their credibility as a provider of advice on a range of lenders,” he said.

Mr Naylor’s comments come after CBA head of mortgages Clive Van Horen predicted further disclosure obligations on lenders and brokers.

However, Mr Naylor believes the broking industry is as transparent as it can be.

“I don’t see anything on the horizon that is in the regulator’s mind that would indicate further disclosure,” he said.

“I’m not sure what extra disclosure could be given, because brokers pretty well have to disclose their commissions, their lenders and a whole lot of things.”

Industry figures have characterised the recent spate of aggregator acquisitions by the majors as a way for them to control mortgage distribution.

Last month, Firstpoint director Troy Phillips told Mortgage Business that major lenders NAB and CBA have a “stranglehold on distribution”.

“Brokers are not to blame for pushing the majority of loans to the majors,” Mr Phillips said.

“CBA and NAB have fostered relations with the third party for so long that brokers have no reason to give smaller lenders their business.

Financial services lawyer and Rockwell Olivier partner Peter Bobbin sees vertical integration continuing into the foreseeable future as lenders look to retain clients and grow their distribution channels.

Mr Bobbin said he would be interested to see how many CBA loans are being written through Aussie since the bank acquired the broker.

“They will be pushing CBA loans through that business, and they will do it in a whole myriad of ways,” he said.

The MFAA, however, does not believe banks buy aggregators to distribute their products.

“The reason that a bank buys an aggregator is to hook into the successful business of that aggregator,” Mr Naylor said.

“If lenders are buying aggregators to distribute their own products, they are really in the long run going to destroy the value of the business.”

 

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