FAMNZ open for membership

Unveils plans for advocacy

FAMNZ open for membership

In a move set to invigorate New Zealand's finance and mortgage advisory sector, the Finance and Mortgage Advisers Association of New Zealand (FAMNZ) has flung open its doors for membership.

Founded in February, FAMNZ has ignited fervent interest and support within the adviser community, prompting the launch of membership applications.

FAMNZ managing director Peter White AM (pictured above) announced that membership is now open through its website, with the association welcoming its first members yesterday.

White said he expected many more finance and mortgage advisers to officially join over the coming days after being “overwhelmed by enquiries.”

“New Zealand mortgage advisers have suffered for a long time through public confusion of the many different adviser roles,” he said. “It’s time to let the nation know who mortgage advisers are, what we do and how we can help them.”

FAMNZ pledges to define mortgage advisers

With the mortgage industry heavily linked to other advisory services like financial planners and insurance advisers, part of FAMNZ’s mission will be to educate New Zealand borrowers about what mortgage advisers do.

White said currently nearly half of borrowers use a mortgage adviser so many people already understand their role and trust them, but there are still many who do not.

“It is clear that certainly in recent times the sector has not done as well as it could to differentiate mortgage advisers from other professions that are also called advisers,” White said.

“Mortgage advisers are qualified in their field whereas other type of advisers are not skilled or knowledgeable in the specific area of lending.” 

Plans for mortgage industry advocacy

With FAMNZ being directly associated with the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA), the association brings more than 30 years’ experience advocating for mortgage advisers.

“We are the largest finance and mortgage broker association in Australia, with 12,000 members and growing, and most importantly over 90% of our members are customer-facing brokers,” White said.

He said the FBAA has a close relationship with the Australian federal treasurer and other senior ministers with finance portfolios and has been instrumental in assisting governments of all political colours to implement legislation and regulations –and prevent adverse decisions – that assist the broking sector and bring better outcomes for borrowers.

“FAMNZ plans to do the same in New Zealand and be a fierce advocate for the interests of finance and mortgage advisers.”

White said FAMNZ will regularly be engaging with various stakeholders like the FMA, the Commerce Commission, and others.

“We have already responded on several papers in relation to the ComCom Report and the Fair Outcomes for Consumers and Markets over the last few weeks, and will continue to engage as consultations arise,” White said.

“Within the political scene, we will soon be engaging with all sides of politics in relation to Treasury and the finance sector.”

Increased lender competition forecasted

While adviser advocacy is a crucial component of FAMNZ, the industry body said the interests of the sector were intertwined with the best interests of consumers.

“Educating the public that we act in their best interest and can offer them more choice and expert advice is a priority,” he said.

He also predicted an increase in competition and the introduction of new lenders into the New Zealand market as a direct result of FAMNZ’s presence.

“Non-bank and second tier lenders know us and they know the benefits of working with us, so I believe this is an exciting time to be a mortgage adviser.”  

White said FAMNZ would be working to bring more competition to the New Zealand market and will be creating awareness of alternative options like non-bank lenders to our members and to the broader mortgage adviser community.

“Over time the public will benefit significantly and we will continue to update the general public through the media,” he said.

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