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Australians think free broking claim's dubious

While the debate on whether it is appropriate for mortgage brokers to promote their services as "free" to their customers has flared recently in New Zealand, it appears the Australian industry is about to decide such claims aren’t kosher.

Tuesday, March 23rd 2004, 10:27PM

by Jenny Ruth

The debate in New Zealand was prompted by Mortgage Link’s decision to drop the claim from its advertising.

Mortgage Industry Association of Australia (MIAA) chief executive Phil Naylor says that following Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigation into misleading advertising by a couple of broking firms, his association has drawn up draft advertising guidelines.

The idea is to self-regulate before regulations are imposed on mortgage brokers.

Once ASIC has approved the guidelines, they will be distributed to all MIAA members.

The two companies involved in the ASIC investigations Fintrack and Express Home Loans, had been making misleading claims, including that they weren’t influenced by the commissions they received as to which loans they recommended because they were receiving the same commissions from all lenders. They weren’t. Another claim was that they represented 40 lenders when the actual number was somewhat less.

While these particular claims weren’t factually correct, there is still a lot of confusion in the broking industry as to what claims could be made legitimately and which couldn’t, Naylor says.

"You’ve got to be careful about saying things that might mislead people, even though you don’t think you’re misleading when you make a claim," he says.

And the claim to offer a "free" service definitely falls into that category in his view.

"’Free’ is one of the areas that might be dubious. Even though the customer’s not paying the broker for any service, whether it’s free in a wider sense is a moot point," Naylor says.

Other problem areas, given that brokers in both Australia and New Zealand are remunerated by the lenders, are claims to provide "objective" advice or "independent" advice, he says.

« Mortgage brokers may need annual accreditationMike Pero looking to list »

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Mortgage Rates Table

Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
ANZ 5.19 3.95 4.15 4.49
ANZ Special - 3.45 3.65 3.99
ASB Bank 5.20 3.89 4.05 4.39
ASB Bank Special - 3.39 3.55 3.89
Bluestone 4.44 4.44 4.29 4.34
BNZ - Classic - 3.49 3.55 3.89
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.90 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 5.35 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 5.30 4.45 4.35 4.55
BNZ - TotalMoney 5.30 - - -
China Construction Bank 5.50 4.70 4.80 4.95
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
China Construction Bank Special - 3.19 3.19 3.19
Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
Credit Union North 6.45 - - -
Credit Union South 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
Finance Direct - - - -
First Credit Union 5.85 3.99 4.49 -
Heartland 6.70 7.00 7.25 7.85
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 5.75 4.65 4.80 -
HSBC Premier 5.24 3.54 3.20 3.69
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.15 3.18 3.18 3.20
Kainga Ora 5.18 3.97 4.05 4.39
Kiwibank 5.15 4.20 4.30 4.64
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset 5.15 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 3.45 3.55 3.89
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Napier Building Society - - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.70 4.25 4.15 -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Pepper Money Near Prime 5.64 - 5.44 5.44
Pepper Money Prime 5.18 - 4.98 4.98
Pepper Money Specialist 7.59 - 7.39 7.39
Resimac 4.50 4.45 3.89 3.94
RESIMAC Special - - - -
SBS Bank 5.29 4.85 5.05 5.49
SBS Bank Special - 3.39 3.55 3.89
Sovereign 5.30 3.89 4.05 4.39
Sovereign Special - 3.39 3.55 3.89
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.15 3.49 3.59 3.89
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 5.15 3.99 4.09 4.39
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Bank 6.09 4.19 4.35 4.69
TSB Special 5.29 3.39 3.55 3.89
Wairarapa Building Society 5.50 3.95 4.05 -
Westpac 5.34 4.15 4.09 4.49
Westpac - Offset 5.34 - - -
Westpac Special - 3.39 3.55 3.99
Median 5.34 3.96 4.09 4.39

Last updated: 21 February 2020 4:32pm

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