Why the big emphasis on Independence?

We believe independence is very important to you being confident that your Mortgage adviser is acting in your best interests rather than in their own interests - or the interests of the Lender. 

Based on recent legislative amendments it is clear that many consumer groups and the government agree with us.

For well over a decade many Brokers, including some of the largest Broker Groups, have been claiming (wrongly in our opinion) to be independent. Thankfully new legislation, commencing on 1st March 2013, now makes it illegal for any entity that is involved in the provision of credit services to use words like ‘independent’, ‘impartial’ or ‘unbiased’ unless they meet some very strict tests of independence.

The legislation is a new Section (s160B) of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act (Cth) 2009. In essence it prohibits the use of the words ‘independent’, ‘impartial’ or ‘unbiased’ or any other word or term of similar import unless:

1.    The Licensee does not receive commissions (unless rebated in full to their Clients);

2.    The Licensee does not receive any other gifts or benefits from a Lender that could be reasonably expected to influence the Licensee;

3.    The Licensee operates free from direct or indirect restrictions on product selection;

4.    The Licensee operates without any conflicts of interest arising from their association or relationship with Lenders; and

5.    Neither the Licensee nor their employer (if any) nor any other person in a position of influence over the Licensee receives the commission or gifts identified at 1 or 2 above.

So – it should be fairly obvious that the following are not independent. Indeed there are other pieces of legislation which mean they should never have attempted to make such claims:

A.    Any Lender (Bank, Building Society, Credit Union), their employees, mobile loans officers or direct agents;

B.    Any of the large Broker Groups or any of their employees, franchisees or agents;

C.   Almost all small Mortgage Broking companies or individuals.

We regularly search the marketplace and we have not identified any other mortgage broker that meets the independence requirements required by law.

As our name suggests – we are Independent and meet all of the requirements outlined above.

Our recommendation is that you ask anyone who is offering you credit advice or assistance whether they are independent.

If they make that claim – ask for it in writing.