Editor's Letter: Looking back on a tumultuous year

As the year comes to a close, things seem to only be ramping up for the broker market

As the year comes to a close, things seem to only be ramping up for the broker market. In November, the royal commission not only released the banks’ and broking groups’ original submissions on misconduct that had occurred in their workplaces over the last decade (see page 8), but it also published numerous groups’ responses to the interim report.

In that collection of documents, the major banks unveiled their thoughts on broker remuneration and the best interests duty. While they were all aligned on implementing the CIF’s ‘facility utilised, net of offset’ reform, their opinions varied on whether a ‘best interests duty’ or something of the like should be applied to brokers. But will these tweaks be enough to satisfy the royal commission? You can read more of our analysis on this at mpamagazine.com.au.

It was good timing then for MPA to host its annual Non-Banks Roundtable, giving leaders from that sector a chance to speak their minds on the same topics. Now that we’ve heard what the majors, non-majors and non-banks have to say about remuneration, we might be able to come to some conclusions about what the royal commission might recommend in the end.

As we gear up for the holiday parties and a couple weeks of rest, we wanted to reflect on the year that was. On page 42, Connective’s Mark Haron talks about what the broking industry learned after this tumultuous year. We also have an interview with Sam Boer, who took the industry by surprise when he announced that he would be stepping down from CBA to take on a key role at Smartline.

And if you’ve been debating whether to add commercial lending to your business, the story on page 28 might convince you that it’s a worthy goal for 2019, if only to insulate your business from the headwinds ahead. Many residential brokers are beginning to adopt this strategy, with MFAA data showing that the number of brokers writing commercial deals more than doubled in the last two years.

We’ll be back in print in January to tackle the big issues ahead, and to reveal the youngest hotshots in the industry. In the meantime, stay tuned to our website for daily news analysis and features.

Wishing you all the best over the holidays and a happy new year.

Otiena Ellwand
editor,
MPA