CEO hits back at ‘sub-segment’ claims

Mortgage Choice chief executive Michael Russell has dismissed the idea that mortgage broking is a "sub-segment" of financial planning.

Responding to recent assertions that mortgage brokers should consider offering financial planning advice as well as home loan advice, Mr Russell said brokers should not fall victim to being a jack of all trades.

“While there are some mortgage brokers who successfully offer financial advice as well as home loan advice, the two professions require different skill sets, which is recognised by the fact there are two governing sets of legislation,” he said.

“As such, we firmly believe it is in the consumers’ best interests for mortgage brokers and financial advisers to operate as specialists.”

Mr Russell’s comments come after Yellow Brick Road’s top executive told Mortgage Business that mortgage broking is a "sub-segment" of financial planning.

On Tuesday, Mortgage Business published comments made by YBR chief executive Matt Lawler in favour of brokers gaining qualifications to become financial planners.

In response, Mr Russell said that it makes sense for mortgage brokers and financial advisers to work closely together, especially considering mortgage broking customers are often making their biggest financial commitment and they need to ensure both their new asset and their personal risks are protected.

“Our customers have also told us that they would prefer not to disclose their personal financial information over and over again to various service providers,” he said.

“They value the convenience of dealing with a specialist mortgage broker and financial adviser operating under the one trusted brand.”

While Mortgage Choice now offers both financial planning and home loan advice, Mr Russell was at pains to stress the company’s business model does not allow mortgage brokers to be financial advisers and vice versa.

“We are committed to providing our customers with easy access to trusted specialists, choice and professional advice – a commitment that has allowed the financial planning side of the business to flourish since it was launched,” he said.

 

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