Page 1

June 2020


06 08 14



Lender news

22 26 30 38 40 44

Broker support program

48 50 57

How to maintain mental fitness

FBAA Chairman Tony Carter



Focus on the Fundamentals, writes NFC & UFS Aggregation’s David Hannah

Prospa’s Alex Brgudac takes us through the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme

Helping brokers nagivate the unknown

V, U or V-U: What sound do bears make in recovery? By Peter Switzer

Cover story

What Next? Featuring Steve Weston


Protecting your business from fraud

Property market predictions

With real estate guru Tom Panos


Foreign currency and international payments made simple

During the COVID-19 situation

Finding the right lawyer

What to look for, and where to look

Board of directors

Meet the FBAA Board of Directors

EDITOR & HEAD OF CONTENT Peter White AM MANAGING EDITOR Krystal Camilleri STAFF WRITER Rachel Licciardello CREATIVE DESIGN & PHOTOGRAPHY Jessica Camilleri Matthew Gianoulis Krystal Camilleri ADVERTISING Krystal Camilleri TELL US WHAT YOU THINK We appreciate hearingfrom readers. If you have feedback, news or have a story idea you would like us to cover, please contact us using the below details NEWS, ADVERTISING AND ADMINISTRATION e: editor@fbaa.com.au p: 07 4721 1174 w: www.fbaa.com.au All information and images are subject to copyright. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior permission in writing to the Finance Brokers Association of Australia Limited. The views and opinions of the authors and advertisers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information at the time of publishing, the publisher accepts no responsibility or liability for errors, omissions or subsequent consequences including loss or damage from reliance on information in this publication.

From The Chair Tony Carter

Welcome to this June edition of Broker Magazine; and who would have predicted at the time of our last magazine in February we would be a nation in varying degrees of lockdown brought about by a virus. On behalf of the FBAA Board, we wish all members and their families the best possible outcome in what can only be described as different and difficult times. As the crisis was looming and it became imminent, FBAA created a Pandemic Risk Committee (PRC) to assess the rapidly rising risk level of our employees, members and stakeholders. The risk matrix created by PRC, using WHO guidelines, has helped us move rapidly to a “work from home” and “e-business” serving members. The PRC initially met every second day and now weekly to assess risk and any necessary actions to ensure we maintain our Purpose Statement and deliver value to members. Possibly the hardest job we have had to grapple with is the creation of a “doomsday plan”. The objective is to ensure, given any sustained downturn, FBAA can continue delivering services for the longest term possible. It is hoped we never need to use this plan. The entire Board is very much looking forward to working on the “new normal” FBAA operating plan. We are seeing a number of positive activities and outcomes as we adapt the FBAA services and communications. Importantly we have been able to maintain connection with the Government, Opposition and Regulators as the important work of advocacy on behalf of members continues. In early March we were in process of appointing a new State Manager for WA, SA & NT. The appointment of Mark Windram was confirmed


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and he has hit the ground running – well, from his home in Western Australia. Mark has been a welcome addition to the team and is contacting as many members and stakeholders as possible to ensure we meet their needs. Welcome to the team Mark. The feedback we are receiving is that FBAA Brokers are working hard, contacting many clients and reviewing their current needs – doing a lot for free seems to be the message. It is equally pleasing to hear new business is coming in to help sustain broker businesses. As one broker said to me the other day: “we have effectively worked from home for years, so nothing much changes other than increasing the level of client contact”. Admittedly, a broker with a solid CRM action plan not just a CRM program. If you haven’t logged onto the webinar series Q&A with Whitey run by Peter White every Thursday you are missing some really good conversations. Great tips and tricks as well as interesting guests from lenders, aggregators, regulators and FBAA team. We have also launched an FBAA Broker Support Program. By the time you read this article the first round of e-summits will have been run and hopefully well attended. We are working hard getting great content to help drive your businesses. As with all we do, if you have feedback or suggestions for improvement please pass it through to your State President or State Manager.

Tony Carter Chairman

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Industry Update The New Normal FBAA Managing Director Peter White AM looks at the ‘new normal’ spun from COVID-19’s shutdown of business as usual. How the FBAA settled in to remote working, how FBAA members embraced digital events, what we can learn from our global counterparts, and when we can expect the 2020 National Industry Conference.

about the future of their businesses. While the FBAA had championed the importance of staying mentally healthy in the past, the subject became more prominent and real. At the end of last year, the FBAA’s annual conference was even more important than usual, allowing our members to connect with and support each other. The address by mental health advocate Anthony Hart was possibly the most interactive and popular we’ve ever had. The last thing brokers needed in 2020 was a global pandemic and a massive economic downturn.

A message to FBAA Members From Peter White AM, FBAA Managing Director

While all of Australia is adapting to a world with COVID-19, for finance and mortgage brokers it’s the second consecutive year of challenge and in some cases, high personal anxiety. There is no doubt our industry is strong and resolute, and we’ve overcome a multitude of issues over many years. When the Hayne report was handed down at the conclusion of the banking royal commission in early February 2019, it’s fair to say that some in the industry felt we were heading for our own – as Her Majesty famously put it – ‘annus horribilis’. But due to the work of the FBAA and others, leaders from both sides of politics were alerted to the massive ramifications of these misinformed recommendations and responded accordingly, ensuring that the industry continued to be viable and strong. These were times of high personal stress for many finance brokers who were understandably worried

But while we can’t deny the reality of the current situation, we also can’t allow it – or the events of last year – to define us. We must remember that our industry is made up of people. More important than anything is our broker ‘family’ and the physical and emotional wellbeing of each one. Recently the FBAA launched a member broker support program, and while there were many practical elements of this to help brokers financially and increase their business, a large part of the program was about maintaining personal connections. We will overcome COVID-19 just like we did the royal commission and the GFC. What will define us is how we rose to the challenge of caring for each other. President Obama said, “I am my brother's keeper and I am my sister's keeper… we rise and fall together. I'm not an island.” When we meet at our next annual conference, my belief is that every member’s business will be prospering. But ultimately, I look forward to seeing a room full of healthy people with hope for the future, who are genuinely enjoying life and who can laugh at the past. British philosopher Thomas Carlyle got it right when he quoted this ancient proverb: “He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” Let’s support each other and reach out if we are struggling. You are not alone.

The New Normal PROACTIVE APPROACH Like many of you, the FBAA team has spent the past two months working remotely following government and health advice regarding COVID-19 prevention measures. Proactively, we developed a Pandemic Risk Committee, initially meeting at least twice weekly and now once weekly. These committee meetings have been integral to ensuring we are on top of all risks to FBAA members and staff, as well as FBAA’s internal workings. This proactive approach has meant we have been ahead of the curve in regards to managing our business in the face of COVID-19, through actions such as shifting our events calendar to digital events, forward planning and ensuring our advocacy for brokers does not lose momentum. The success of our online events, including PD days, e-summits and webinars with our sponsors and supporters, has been so much so that we have held multiple sessions for some events, as we reach our 500-person capacity for each streaming. This is fantastic attendance, and shows how engaged brokers are at this current time. We know from experience, that when the broking industry is under stress, we as an industry choose fight over flight as our response. ADVOCACY CONTINUES Throughout this COVID-19 impact, I have found our engagement with both sides of government to have increased. This is largely because our meetings are conducted online via Microsoft Meetings, Zoom and GoToMeetings and therefore we aren’t hindered by schedule clashes and travel time. This accessibility has allowed us good intel to understand what Australia will look like coming out of this COVID-19 situation, and position the FBAA and broking industry to be ready for that. We believe there will be a lot of ‘new normals’. For me, as FBAA Managing Director who usually clocks 220-odd flights a year living out of the suit case and hotels, I thought the lockdown would be a shock to the system, but I must confess, I have adjusted to working from home quite seamlessly

and found it a joy being able to spend more time with my wife and family. HOME LOAN CUSTOMER CONCERNS At the outset of this crisis, our State Managers and State Presidents checked in with members across the country to identify and understand brokers’ concerns. Your key concerns were: frustrations with time delays in lenders processing applications; and frustrations with not having standardised or universal forms. Rest assured, these items are on our agenda. By the time you read this update, FBAA would have raised these frustrations in the media. Also on our agenda, are pre-emptive concerns that customers who may have taken up a stimulus package aren’t going to be burdened with a debt that could collapse them. There’s no evidence of that happening yet, but it is something we need to monitor. I have been in discussions the government, the federal minister and the small business minister regarding these concerns. BROKER SUPPORT PROGRAM Early in this scenario, we delivered a Broker Support Program to help you navigate your way through these strange times. If you haven’t already, you can view the videos, tools and marketing collateral at the FBAA website. IMBF The International Mortgage Brokers Federation (IMBF) has continued its monthly video meetings. Throughout this COVID-19 situation, we have been checking in on each other to understand different countries’ pain points and responses. For example, in the UK, around 40-45% of brokers went on furlough, shut up shop with no business to be written. In US, the East Coast and West Coast have been experiencing real problems while the Middle States continued doing lots of business (albeit, at the time of writing this those Middle State markets are now moving into a negative territory as well). So, each market has experienced this situation differently. Our global connectedness has allowed us to support each other, and share knowledge and experience. Story continues on page 13

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For example, we are currently assisting UK with research, and have shared our Australian licensing model with Canada as they review new structures within licensing. EXTRAORDINARY TIMES These IMBF meetings have offered great perspective when it comes to Australia’s position during this COVID-19 crisis. Australia has fared the best, so far. We can congratulate our Prime Minister, Federal and State Governments who have navigated us through this rather extraordinary scenario. Australia has been able to get not just a country through this crisis, still reasonably intact, but the individual businesses and environments that obviously impact our business associates in broking.

Peter White AM Managing Director

FBAA NATIONAL INDUSTRY CONFERENCE The FBAA National Industry Conference, Awards of Supremacy and Gala Dinner is our industry’s night of nights. Each year, we commence planning for this full-day of events around 14 months out from the event date, and need at least 8 months to secure event, entertainment, keynote speakers and the logistics for an A-list event as large as this. While our 2020 event will not be held in November as it usually is, due to uncertainty around interstate travel and events for 1000 people, our National Industry Conference will proceed once we can actually lock everything into place. At this stage, we are aiming for the first half of 2021, but we will communicate more details once confirmed.

Aggregator News Focus on the fundamentals in times of great change With almost 25 years’ experience in finance with Brokers and Dealers, David Hannah has been leading NFC & UFS Aggregation – a major Aggregator that operates exclusively in the Asset Finance broker market across both Consumer and SME segments – since 2017. David has been directly involved in much of the significant change the industry has experienced in recent years. But for all this change, the fundamentals of finance broking remain unchanged, he writes.

Focus on the fundamentals in times of great change All the way back to the introduction of NCCP in 2009, through to the Sedgwick Report on Remuneration in 2017 and the Royal Commission last year, change has been ongoing for our industry. Still ahead is the Best Interests Duty and the possibility of changes to the Point of Sale Exemption. All the way back to the introduction of NCCP in 2009, through to the Sedgwick Report on Remuneration in 2017 and the Royal Commission last year, change has been ongoing for our industry. Still ahead is the Best Interests Duty and the possibility of changes to the Point of Sale Exemption. Given that all of these changes have the interests of consumers and business customers as their focus, Finance Brokers have become adept at dealing with change and embracing it to grow their businesses. Aggregators have played – and continue to play – an important role in supporting Brokers through the changing landscape and assisting Asset and PL Lenders to execute and embed the changes in the Broker distribution channel. The Lender landscape has changed significantly as well with, for example, Pepper and Latitude growing to become major players in multiple consumer segments, the growth of Personal Loans in the Broker channel through specialists such as Now Finance, and the emergence of a myriad of new SME lenders such as Metro. The number and diversity of both lenders and products in the Asset Finance market has never been greater, offering great choice to consumers and SMEs, making the value of a specialised Asset Finance Aggregator like NFC-UFS more important than ever. Whilst there’s been lots of change, the fundamentals of Finance Broking remain unchanged:


Broker Magazine

Finance is seen as complex by many consumers and SMEs, who seek assistance with understanding the range of products and lenders in the market and the process of obtaining a loan.

Many consumers and SMEs don’t have enough time to research and navigate the complex and diverse lending market and loan process.

Brokers are specialists in their market and are backed by industry qualifications and continuing professional development.

Brokers are mostly local area businesses and survive and thrive in their local markets by building and maintaining a strong reputation for delivering quality services and providing value for money.

Broker distribution is an attractive channel for Lenders, with no fixed costs, the ability to access large scale distribution through a small number of Aggregator relationships, and sales and distribution costs only incurred on settled loans.

So, despite the many changes in the Finance Industry in recent years and the changes that lie ahead, keeping these fundamentals front of mind and delivering decent, honest, fair, transparent and compliant service to consumers and SMEs will continue to be the keys to success for Brokers. At NFC & UFS Aggregation, we believe that delivering such service requires two main elements: •

Establishing and maintaining a culture within the Broker business that is completely aligned to customers’ requirements and objectives.

Maintaining complete and accurate records of all interactions with customers and sharing those with the customer.

“Finance is seen as complex by many consumers and SMEs, who seek assistance with understanding the range of products and lenders in the market.” David Hannah

NFC & UFS Aggregation are experts in Asset Finance – it’s all we do. Our employees have hundreds of years of Asset Finance experience between them across all parts of the Industry and we provide Brokers with quality support and systems to help manage the ongoing change in the Industry and develop and grow their businesses. Find out more about us at natfin.com.au

- Group Executive Aggregation NFC-UFS Aggregation

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Lender News Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme The Australian Federal Government recently announced a list of participating lenders in the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, designed to support the flow of credit to small businesses in Australia. Alex Brgudac, Head of Partnerships at Prospa, sheds some light on what the Scheme means for the industry.

The Australian Government’s Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme On 22 March 2020, the Federal Government launched the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme as part of a series of measures to support the flow of credit to small businesses dealing with the impact of COVID-19. On 14 April, Prospa was pleased to announce that we were one of five initial non-bank lenders to receive access to the Scheme, alongside the selected banks. It is great to see the Government really understands what small businesses need to get through these tough times; and simple, fast access to capital is key. The ability of non-bank lenders to access the Scheme, alongside the banks, demonstrates how important the sector is for driving competition and innovation and securing financial inclusion for more Australian small businesses. Brokers have played such a vital role in growing awareness and consideration of non-banks over the years and I want to thank our partners for their continued support. The Scheme will support up to $40 billion of lending to small businesses until 30 September 2020. It provides selected lenders, including Prospa, with a Government-backed guarantee of 50% against the outstanding facility balance of eligible products. The Scheme is designed to help smaller businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million, who are considered as being viable in the longer-term, including sole traders. Under the Scheme, eligible small businesses can access up to $250,000 in unsecured funding for terms of up to three years from participating lenders. They will also receive an initial six-month no repayment period, providing some muchneeded breathing space during these uncertain times and the confidence to get back to business. As Australia’s leading online lender to small business with over 10,000 distribution partners, we are uniquely positioned to translate the


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Government’s initiative into action. We use smart technology to assess risk and are dedicated small business lending specialists – it is all we have ever done. We are currently rolling out our new Back to Business Loan and Back to Business Line of Credit products, and they will soon be widely available to partners. We offer speed, service and we know better than most what a good small business looks like. Many small businesses owners across Australia are experiencing completely unexpected cash flow challenges, and we have been empowered to support them. They need fast access to funding, without masses of paperwork and red tape and we will be working closely with the broker community to roll out our Scheme products to eligible small businesses. From droughts, bushfires and now the economic disruption of COVID-19, this has been a tough year so far for the small business community. We know small businesses are resilient and it has been inspiring to see so many examples of innovation in the face of this crisis, but thousands of businesses out there need finance to survive. Working together, our industry can make a massive difference to Australian lives, jobs and the economy. We must continue to support small business, and the Scheme is one of the important ways we can do this.

Alex Brgudac - Head of Partnerships

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Broker Support Program Helping brokers navigate the unknown As fast as our world has spun since mid-March, the FBAA has moved with it to adapt and deliver for its members. In the event of financial uncertainty, loan customers need their brokers more than ever. In the event of a global crisis, many loan customers need their brokers all at once. This creates a flurry of business in the short term, as brokers swiftly move into action. The FBAA understands the pressures put on mortgage and finance brokers during this crisis. In April, we launched a Broker Support Program, which included membership fee assistance, ongoing education and insights with industry leaders, and continues to receive a highly positive response.

CALL YOUR BROKER CAMPAIGN The program kicked off with a Call Your Broker campaign which entailed a customer support blueprint and marketing assets, to give you a roadmap to communicate with your customers at the outset of the economic shutdown. As we continue through this uncertain period, with a far more optimism than we had as a country say late March, this campaign remains relevant as many of your customer’s financial situations become clearer. If you haven’t already accessed the free tools available to use within your business, you can view the resource library at the FBAA website (About page > Broker Support Program).

Our ‘Call Your Broker’ campaign includes: • Call Your Broker blueprint - a proactive approach to servicing your loan customers during the COVID-19 pandemic and changed economy. • Social media business page banners • Social Media imagery • Email banner And much more... all for you to download and use for FREE.

Call Your Broker!

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YOUR VOICE: AN OPEN Q&A WITH WHITEY One of the most popular elements of the Broker Support Program has been a weekly video series, Your Voice: an open Q&A with Whitey, hosted by FBAA Managing Director Peter White AM, and covering a number of hot topics for brokers as we work our way through a COVID-19 economy. Peter’s guests have so far included: Prospa’s Alex Brgudac; Australian Financial Compliance Authority’s (AFCA) Evelyn Halls and Tim Goss; Madd Loans’ George Samios; Outsource Financial’s Tanya Sale; CEO of Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association Samantha Gale, AMFIN’s George Dibb and FBAA State Managers Leah Renwick and Mark Windram.









CPD POINTS The program’s online events, including the recorded Q&A with Whitey conversations, can help you accrue the continuing professional development (CPD) points you need as a broker.





To view all Your Voice: an open Q&A with Whitey talks, past webinars, e-Summits and other videos, go to YouTube, search for FBAA and subscribe to our channel.

SHARE YOUR CONCERNS OR FRUSTRATIONS We may not be connecting with face-to-face at FBAA events, but our team remains as committed as ever to industry advocacy. If you have any concerns, please raise these with your State Managers, who remain our eyes and ears ‘on the ground’. We can then address these concerns in future Q&A with Whitey conversations, blogs or direct with you. Access Broker Support Program tools, and register for upcoming webinars and events at the FBAA website.


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V, U or V-U: What sound do bears in recovery make? We’re officially out of the bear market but we haven’t fully recovered yet. Experts are debating between a V-shaped recovery, a U-shaped recovery, a V-U recovery and even a Nike swooshlike recovery! Here’s my stance on how our stock markets will recover.

By Peter Switzer - Switzer Financial Group

Thankfully that damn Coronavirus, and the closures/lockdowns that came with it, are now being seen as less of a threat compared to the early weeks of March this year.

EDITORIAL This chart of the All Ords shows how economic panic set in, with our stock market down 37%. But on Tuesday May 26, we crept out of the bear market, which is defined as a 20% crash of a market.

The stock market is a window on the future economy but it doesn’t have 20:20 vision in the short run. And when it comes to Black Swan threats such as the Coronavirus, big stock players sell first and ask questions later. Despite the market fear, light at the end of the tunnel came when governments and central banks rode to the rescue, aided by the major banks. At the time in March when our Government announced its huge stimulus packages and the RBA let loose with monetary policy power, I told my Switzer Daily readers (www.switzer.com.au) that as a response to a market crash, this stimulus package was the fastest and best rescue strategy ever. It raised hopes of a V-shaped recovery but the consensus view was more U-shaped, implying a slow take-off, while others favoured a W-shape recovery of down, then up, down again on secondwave fears before eventually going up. More negative types predicted an L-shape recovery, which is not really much of a recovery at all, as we go sideways in a virtual depression. More positive types tip a Nike swoosh-like recovery, where the rise in economic activity is upwards but more gentle than a V-shape bounce. I like the Chris Joye of Coolabah Capital’s suggestion of a V-U shape recovery, where we get a nice bounce from the stock market but then we spend time at a new higher growth level before taking off again. Joye has been a great predicter and had his money market researchers watching infection data 24/7. They called an end to our infection threat as early


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April and they were right. Chris has made a number of predictions on the economy and markets, and as I agree with him, let me share them with you. Early March: “When all is said and done, markets will get what they want through signalling what is and is not acceptable. Order will eventually be restored. And this crisis will pass, probably within one or two months. Those that survive will face the investment opportunity of a life-time…” And I have to share this with you, after he used his AFR column to bag property bears who were predicting 40% falls in house prices: “Since I have pulled out my empirical “shottie”, an intellectual twelve-gauge, the bears have started running for the hills. In fact, I am getting increasingly excited about the prospect of making myself a bear BBQ. Our base-case is that Aussie house prices will flat-line over the next few months, with the risk of a modest softening of prices up to 5 per cent. Thereafter we forecast that the 2019-20 boom will reassert itself with prices climbing by another 10 per cent to 20 per cent on the back of the 75 to 150 basis point reduction in mortgage rates over the last year. This has massively boosted purchasing power, pushing down interest repayments as a share of disposable incomes to their lowest levels in decades.” If the stock market and Chris are right (and I think they are), then next time you read me here, the economic numbers will be looking much better for you than they did six, five, four, three, two and even one week ago!


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What Next?

Ft. Steve Weston

A high-profile leader within our industry, Steve Weston’s stellar career spans banking and mortgages, Australia and UK, and most recently as founder and CEO of Australia’s first-ever consumer neobank. Four years ago, Steve appeared in Broker Magazine’s launch edition, sharing dire warnings of a regulatory overhaul to the Australian banking, financial services and broking industries. Steve’s foresight was critical in preparing us for the rocky road ahead, as his predictions proved true. We asked Steve to once again offer his thoughts on the coronavirus crisis, economic recovery and opportunities for brokers.


Steve Weston’s seen the good, the bad and the ugly of banking in his over 30 years working in Australia and UK, and is well-versed with the Australian home loan market. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a broker who doesn’t know Steve by reputation. He’s held high-profile positions with St George Bank, Challenger Financial Services, NAB and Barclays in the UK, and in 2017 made history when he founded Australia’s first ever neobank, Volt. “Mortgages, broking and banking all are in my DNA,” offers Steve. As a 13-year-old kid, growing up in Bowen on the coast of North Queensland, Steve had little aspiration for a career in banking but was certain about one thing when selecting a work experience preference – he wanted a cool job. Literally. “Bowen is bloody hot, and banks are air-conditioned,” quips Steve. While he cared less about the banking (it was his second preference anyway) and more about comfort, the selfdescribed “rogue” made an impression. That week-long work experience led to a good report from his supervisor, and eventually a job offer with Commonwealth Bank when he was 15 years old. From 2000, Steve headed up St. George Bank’s home loans, personal loans and business banking for about five years, before moving to Challenger Financial Services as the group acquired the PLAN, FAST and Choice Mortgage aggregation and white label lending businesses, Interstar. With Steve at the helm, Challenger Financial became the fifth biggest mortgage lender in Australia, behind the four major banks. As a result of the GFC, in 2009 NAB bought the business, which we know today as Advantedge. In 2012, postGFC, Steve moved to the UK to take post as CEO Mortgages and Lending for Barclays, and was tasked with transforming the personal lending and mortgage businesses to become widely viewed as best in class globally from a digital, data and risk management perspective.

LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE Broker Magazine last interviewed Steve in 2016. Steve featured on the cover, freshly returned from the UK, and warning FBAA members of great pain to come in financial services by way of an industry overhaul. Since then, the industry has been through the ringer – exactly as Steve predicted. “When I returned to Australia, I was waxing lyrical about the similarities between the UK market and the Australian market, with Australia lagging about five years. The same movie had played out in the UK, which meant it was likely there was quite a lot of pain coming our way,” recalls Steve, “but there were also things that we could be doing at that time from a banking and a broking perspective, to minimise that pain and set ourselves up for the future. I did a road show for FBAA with Peter White, around the country, and I talked about this and I know a number of people said, ‘Steve, it kind of makes sense, but really do you think we’re going to have things like this responsible lending stuff?’ I didn’t predict a Royal Commission, but I did identify the sorts of things that would likely get banks in trouble.” In 2017, Steve assisted FBAA in organising a study tour for Australian mortgage leaders to the UK, inviting UK regulators, industry associations, banks and technology providers along to share the UK experience. “I was getting sick of my own voice, so I said ‘I’ll shut up and you ask them about what has happened.’ Sure enough, it played out like I expected it would but hoped it wouldn’t. What became crystal clear to me was that banking can be done in a much better way.” That’s how the idea for Volt was conceived.

“Where we can, we need to prepare ourselves for the to make sure we can capitalise on any opportunities present themselves coming out of COVID-19.” 32

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e future, that


VOLT: AUSTRALIA’S FIRST NEOBANK Steve’s history-making moment came in 2017, when he founded Australia’s first-ever consumer neobank, Volt. In May 2018, Volt received its restricted licence, becoming the first Aussie start-up to get a banking licence since 1981, followed by a full banking licence in January 2019 and a product roll out in early 2020 before the coronavirus global pandemic hit the pause button on a full product rollout. “When we were designing Volt, we started with a clean sheet of paper. We took out the crystal ball and asked, ‘What is it that customers will need from banks in the future?’” recalls Steve. “We then looked at technology and asked, ‘What will banking technology look like?’ We know that platforms are ubiquitous in most industries, except retail banking, so we built a banking platform that serves both Volt-originated customers and those originated by large companies who want to offer banking products to their customers. We’ve signed deals with the likes of Cotton On and PayPal, which is used by more than one-third of Australian adults.” (PayPal has only three other banking relationships of this sort in the world, with Barclays, Bank of America and Citibank. Volt is the only Aussie bank in the mix. “It raised a few eyebrows when we were announced as the fourth!” smiles Steve. “Volt? Who’s Volt?!”) “When we looked at areas of opportunity in banking, we knew we didn’t want to take on the major banks on every street corner. We asked, ‘Where are the areas that are less contested? Where can we outperform?’ One thing customers want their banks to do, is respect their choice.” Regarding mortgages, Steve expects the majority of Volt’s business will come from brokers given the superior nature of brokers’ value proposition in working with their customers to get them a better deal and help them through the pain of the application process. The next question we asked was, ‘What will brokers want from banks in the future?’ And, of course, the home loan application process is still living in the dark ages and that’s crazy. If I go back to my days at Barclays, where I ran mortgages and personal loans, those businesses at that time when I arrived in 2012 could only be described as broken or, if you’re kind, very clunky. Today, they are best in class globally for the way that they use digital channels and the way that they use data,” says Steve.


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“Suddenly, lenders hav accept brokers interv virtually. I believe this change, which may not quickly had coronavir In January 2020, Volt launched its first product, a savings account, with transaction and cash management accounts in testing. “When the time is right – and coronavirus has made the timing a little difficult – we will move into lending,” says Steve. “Probably mortgages first, then personal loans, and then SME loans in 2021.” Steve says Volt’s focus, across all its products, is to do things differently, using the latest technology and data analytics “to help customers and brokers in a way that banks haven’t in the past”. Originally, Volt intended to offer personal loans first, however coronavirus has altered that plan. “When you have a crisis like COVID-19, even people with the most unblemished credit record can’t pay if they don’t have a job. Now’s not the time to enter the market in unsecured lending,” shares Steve. “Mortgages – particularly low LVR mortgages, people who have had a mortgage for a number of years and are paying a higher interest rate than they should be – will likely be Volt’s first cab off the rank from a lending perspective.”


ve been willing to viewing their customers s will be a permanent t have happened as rus not forced it.”

OPPORTUNITY IN ADVERSITY For a digital bank like Volt, the coronavirus situation has delivered one outstanding opportunity. “People are getting more comfortable living their lives on smartphones,” comments Steve. “If we think of, say, retirees, they wouldn’t be your natural fit to do their banking on a smart phone; retirees would more often than not go down to a bank branch. However, they’ve not been able to do that recently. “Where we can, we need to prepare ourselves for the future, to make sure we can capitalise on any opportunities that present themselves coming out of COVID-19,” says Steve.

“For Volt, being a bank without an existing lending book means we don’t have the bad debts to work through like an existing bank does,” continues Steve. “I’ve mentioned Volt’s dealings with the likes of PayPal and Cotton On, and we have been contacted by a large number of partners in recent times, wanting to offer banking products to their customers. It’s very difficult to do this, unless a bank has built a platform in the right way like Volt has. So that’s a bigger opportunity for us as a result of coronavirus.” For mortgage brokers, Steve sees opportunity in improving some of the processes that have had brokers “beating their heads against the wall in frustration, for years” such as lenders requiring face-to-face interviews between brokers and customers. “We’re a big nation, so that’s not all that efficient. Now, suddenly, lenders have been willing to accept virtual interviews. I believe this will be a permanent change, which may not have happened as quickly had coronavirus not forced it.” LOOKING FORWARD “I guess the question is, how does COVID play out? We’re bombarded with theories from economists, from bankers, from governments: It will be a V shaped recovery. It’ll be a U shaped. It’ll be an L shaped recovery. I don’t have the crystal ball or theories for all the letters of the alphabet. My suspicion though is that it’s hard to see our recovery will be a complete bounce back, a V, because we don’t have a vaccine for coronavirus yet. My gut feel is it’s more likely to be a U. The question then is, how long does the economy stumble and bumble along at a very low level before we start to grow again? “Government is incurring massive amounts of debt to stimulate the economy. That is a legacy that the next generation of tax payers are going to bear. It’s like being a business and racking up a big overdraft, one day you need to pay it back. “In 30 years, 50 years, 100 years from now, university kids will be doing case studies on exactly how the global economy fared and the various strategies different countries used,” offers Steve. “I wish I did have a crystal ball to know what’s going to happen.”

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to brokers during COVID-19 1. Don’t take your foot off the accelerator

“Some brokers have continued to remain quite busy, but given that we have such a long period between an application and when a home loan settles, it’s easy to wake up one day and your pipeline’s evaporated,” warns Steve. “You need to continue to keep in touch with your referral sources. And I would say it is imperative now to contact every one of your customers, because each of them can do with your assistance. Some, if they’re in financial hardship, will need help dealing with their banks to defer payments, but almost all of your customers could get a cheaper interest rate right now, so it’s actually a nice phone call to make to discuss that.”


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2. Keep in touch with your customers

“Many people are feeling a bit lonely and confused at the moment. And I think we have a moral obligation, as well as a professional one, to be talking to our customers at the moment,” adds Steve. “Keeping in touch with your customers, to see if they need help with financial hardship claims, to make repayment deferrals or just see if there’s a better rate available to them, is the right thing to do. It also will build a lot of loyalty with those customers.”

3. Stay kind

“This crisis is a doozy, it’s a big one. I wonder whether there could be a positive outcome for society, in that we start being a bit more empathetic and a bit kinder to others,” comments Steve. “This is a tough period for a lot of people, including a number of brokers who are sole traders or operate small businesses. It is lonely. Some people are scared. You read the papers, listen to the news, it is scary. We will get through it though. It’s important for people to spend time keeping social connection, checking in with team members for those of us who have them, and keeping mental health front of mind.”

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A Case Study in: Protecting your Business from Fraud Scammers and fraudsters are well aware that a crisis, such as COVID-19, brings them great opportunity. This includes attempting fraudulent loans, as brokers focus on crisis response within their business and servicing existing customers. As brokers, it is important in all business to be vigilant in protecting your business against fraud. You cannot completely mitigate your vulnerability but you can ensure you always undertake best practice. Here’s an example. A lead provided through a referral partner’s website portal was supplied to assist a person with finance whereby they provided their name, mobile and email address. This turned out to be the beginning of the fraud. The referrer in this case was not linked to the fraudulent client. As a matter of normal process, the client was contacted and a Fact Find process progressed, followed by an application for a pre-approval. As part of application amongst other things, the broker obtained certified copies of ID. The client could not provide a rates notice, but provided a title search showing client ID and address matching the Title Particulars. A credit sign-off on acceptance took place. The client then attempted to provide an Adobe eSigned copy of the privacy policy which was not accepted. The broker requested a wet-ink signed copy to be submitted, with which the client eventually complied. The client supplied purchase detail evidence, and all lender requirements pertaining to this style of transaction was met and signed off by the lender. Ultimately, the transaction settled and surplus funds were paid to what became known to be a fraudulent account. Fortunately, the broker held copies of all email trails and contacts of client and vendor, and followed


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all lender policies and directions to the letter. But this still did not prevent the fraud from occurring. There are clear learnings from this case study to help prevent fraud. 1. Be extra wary of clients who attempt to provide electronically signed forms where this is not an option. 2. Do not complete private sales for interstate clients, where client or vendor cannot be met either in-person, or by video meeting. 3. Do not rely on Certified ID alone for ID, whilst this was acceptable under the lender’s policy. Push for face-to-face or video regardless of policy. Video while not 100% safe, as client could produce a fraudulent ID to have a photo over video, would mean the criminal would need to have a photo taken which would be a big disincentive to proceed. Sending a client to branch or ID face-to-face with broker remains best practice. 4. For a private sale, the broker needs to sight the asset, or order an inspection again, regardless if the client has already obtained a report, as this would have likely alerted the asset’s legal owner or stopped the transaction as the fraudulent vendor would not have been able to arrange the inspection. At the end of the day, the broker example within this case study prides him or herself on the highest of standards in business. But this case study is evidence that, despite following the lender’s policy and having items checked and signed off, you can still get caught out.

Property predictions

with Tom Panos

As I write this article today, I find it extremely surprising that most of Australia’s property prices have remained at similar levels to pre-COVID-19. In some marketplaces, we have seen a drop of approximately 10%. In most areas of Sydney and Melbourne, the market picked up after the 2019 Federal election and once we had clarity on negative gearing, property prices went up by 15% just before COVID-19 hit. An underlying contributor to this trend has been caused by the lack of new listings coming to the market. In fact, data from various data companies including CoreLogic, indicate that April had the largest decline of new listings month to month, year on year since September 1991. Real Estate pricing is simply an equation of demand and supply and even though we have factors such as double-digit unemployment on the horizon, the lack of listings has meant Real Estate prices have held up.

“Smart investors have always bought when there is fear in the market…”


The concern for the Australian real estate industry is what will happen when stimulus packages such as JobKeeper end and banks stop offering their six-month freeze on mortgage payments. Will distress selling force property prices to come down? We are yet t see the ramifications. Whilst many people have an opinion on this, what we don’t yet know is: How does an economy behave when it was in a self-induced coma? And what happens when it’s taken out of that coma? One thing is clear, the way we live and operated at work will change. It has not been a CEO or a CTO that has changed and brought efficiencies into the workplace. It was COVID-19 which now means organisations understand that you don’t need to be going into an office each and every day and you don’t need to be spending on flying domestic flights to have a two-hour meeting. What we will see is the emergence of ‘The Second Office’; the home office. This could mean that many people may choose to move and make a sea change or tree change and do most of their work with greater reliance on virtual meeting platforms like Zoom and other forms of technology. Certain areas across Australia will benefit as people sell

their properties in the city and move to lifestyle locations that are considered more desirable. From an investor’s point of view, this will mean a re-pricing of property in certain areas which will present golden opportunities to buy with some good deals. Smart investors have always bought when there is fear in the market, and this is certainly the case now. The lack of listings means these investors are probably holding back for the Spring surge in the second half of 2020. Whilst Real Estate prices at the moment have held up fairly well in the across Australia, the market will get tested when the Government stimulus comes to an end, and more property hits the market, we should not be surprised if a small correction in price takes place. This correction would still be at a level that is simply clawing back for gains that the Real Estate industry benefited from after the Federal election last year. By Tom Panos - Property Market Commentator, Million Dollar Agent Podcast host and Founder of Real Estate Gym.

Foreign Currency and International Payments Made Simple By Ian Cragg, Co-founder SendFX

In April 2020, the FBAA announced its partnership with SendFX, a fintech company re-writing the FX rules book by providing a global payments platform that enables its partners to easily connect people and businesses with their money. As an alternative to banking providers, Send is assisting finance and mortgage brokers by offering valuable services for the benefit of their retail and business clients. While providing a platform that enables their partners to earn an additional revenue stream through referrals, Send is helping improve the market by delivering technology and licencing that will remove the expensive and complex layers that currently plague international spending and movement of funds, ultimately to increase transparency and reduce costs. Ian Cragg, co-founder and Head of Partnerships at SendFX said: “We’ve identified that the SME market is significantly underserviced by the banks in Australia, even though they’re reported to conduct 70% of international payments. If you’re a business dealing with customers or suppliers overseas, you’re then held ransom by their poor exchange rates, hefty fees, automated phone support and legacy technology.” With Send, businesses have access to an extensive global payments network, allowing them total flexibility in how they manage their international payment flows with their customers and suppliers. A great example of this is a business seeking a finance loan from a broker to purchase inventory from a Chinese supplier, that is likely to pay a USD invoice. “We can simplify the process by opening an account for the business in the morning, provide them foreign exchange services to save them a significant amount of money, and then send the businesses funds in the afternoon, with 44

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the supplier expected to receive them the next day,” Ian said. “We work hard to provide access to not only excellent exchange rates and technology, but also to exceptional customer service,” he said. “This means that our partners feel comfortable referring their clients to us, knowing they can trust us to look after their customers as they do. It also means that our partners are able to refer a genuine valueadd service to the client, while benefiting from the creeation of an additional revenue-stream.” According to FBAA managing director Peter White, the partnership will provide FBAA broker members with new income options where brokers will be paid a commission upon settlements of a SendFX transaction by a client. Peter said, “we should take advantage of partnerships like this and keep increasing our services.” To find out more about Send’s services, please visit sendfx.com.au ABOUT SENDFX Send’s co-founders have over 20 years’ experience in the industry across the United Kingdom and Australian. Within that time, they have led multiple award-winning teams and developed highly successful collaborative commercial partnerships globally. Now, their goal is to become the number one provider of foreign exchange payments in Australia. They have been aggressive in assembling a highly skilled workforce from the technology and financial sectors, most recently adding former CEO of Bank of Queensland, Jon Sutton, to their advisory board.

BLANK CANVAS FOR AUSTRALIA’S MOST AWARDED BROKER Having built his broker business in three short years, Bernard Desmond puts success down to continually re-evaluating his business and honing his skills. In the biggest re-invention to date, Bernard launches his hotly anticipated new business direction and brand, Blank. If you have ever been to a conference, professional development day or business improvement seminar, a wildly popular theme is often ‘your ability to adapt will breed success’. The challenge is not knowing that adaptability is very powerful but to put it in to regular practice. That is why Bernard has been re-inventing the way he does things every year.

market content, Bernard knew that his brand was resonating with people and he really drove his message through online and social marketing. ‘The only problem with this is that my name had become the brand and so further expansion and recruiting the right people could be confusing when they answer the phone, ‘Bernard, may I help you?’” he said.

“I started three short years ago in the broking community. I was thrilled to join a wonderful team under a franchise type arrangement where I was able to learn and be supported through what was to become the most disruptive period in the coming years for brokers. The very first nonnegotiable and fundamental to my business was the customer experience. This was closely followed by compliance and deal quality. I wanted all of my deals to be top notch and leave the customer with an absolute and undoubtable wow factor,” explains Bernard.

In 2019, wanting to give back to the broking community, Bernard became the FBAA’s Victorian State President. Then, with an incredibly busy schedule, Bernard began to build the platform for his the new company direction in 2020.

Having recently won the Best Residential Mortgage Broker of the year award in 2019 at the coveted REB awards, it is no secret that Bernard has become an expert in working with real estate agents and their customers for outstanding results. “Working with the best agents in Melbourne is an absolute privilege and by having a solid relationship with our referrers, I have found that excellent customer service is a shared commodity between us that breeds new leads for us all,” says Bernard. “The most important thing for agents is new listings and for Blank, new customers. When I wow their customers, the agents send me more and when they wow mine, I send them my customers who look to list. Therefore, the next re-invention for my business was to really nail my referrers and their experience with what would become Blank.” In 2018 Bernard’s success began to soar and you only had to open LinkedIn or an industry magazine to see his polished marketing material that became well known by his initials BD. From winning awards or publishing relevant 46

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Seeking to build new digital efficiencies into his model, Bernard partnered with his new aggregator Specialist Finance Group and set about building the team around him. Manager at SFG Blake Buchanan says: “I am proud to have known Bernard for a couple of years now, and to see growth further, particularly at this time, is yet another stand up moment that he will remember throughout his career and is testament to him. The strongest metals are often forged in the highest temperatures and I applaud his decision to join us and continue on with the ability to adapt so swiftly so that he can do what he does best and continue to help his customers.” On changing aggregators, Bernard suggests that this was a huge decision for him that was helped by getting a feeling for the SFG culture. “Having known Blake for a while was awesome but getting to meet and know the owner William Lockett and some of their existing brokers gave me the comfort I needed knowing that the business support is not only there but goes above and beyond. When I saw the capabilities of SFGconnect inclusive of their inbuilt conferencing and live interview mode, I was hooked. “Change is always different but this one has been a shot in the arm and I look forward to accelerating my business again this year not as a mortgage broker, but as an opportunity broker’.

“I wanted all of

my deals to be top notch and leave the customer with an absolute and undoubtable ‘wow’ factor.

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With so much of what is impacting our lives being forces outside of our control, what can we do to maintain our mental fitness and get through what is going to be a challenging time for many? By Tony Bradford Centre of Corporate Health

2020 has been a year of operating outside our comfort zones. With bushfires and the outbreak of COVID-19, Australians and the world have found themselves in a constant state of hypervigilance. As the health and economic ramifications of COVID-19 continue to be felt by many, the same can be said for our collective mental health with Lifeline experiencing a 20% increase in calls in March 2020 alone. Of the 3000 calls received each day, 39% are due to financial pressures and anxiety in relation to the health of themselves or a loved one. Add to these external pressures the fact that our social connectedness is being challenged, our routines have been pulled out from under us and we are having to multitask like never before, what else can be expected other than a perfect storm for a mental health downward spiral? So, what strategies can you put in place to navigate these extremely challenging times and emerge with your mental health still intact? Well, I could tell you all to exercise, get outside for a dose of vitamin D and practice mindfulness meditation, but you know these strategies. It’s about shifting these from ‘knowing’ they are good for you, to actually ‘doing’ them. But what about strategies for managing the specific challenges we are facing in light of COVID-19? Well these are to do with our mindset and how we can adjust our thinking styles to cope and rise to the many challenges we are facing. At the moment it is easy to get sucked into the ‘what if’s?’ - “what if I lose my job?”, “what if my elderly grandmother contracts COVID-19?”, “what if a vaccine isn’t found soon?” When you are in this mindset, worry, rumination and anxiety is where you are focusing your energy and it can leave you feeling hopeless and helpless. To shift this mindset, you need to begin to focus your energy on those

things in your life that you can control and dial down your emotional investment on what you can’t. So, what can you control? You could talk to your manager to gauge the stability of your role and then look at budgeting your household so you are in a better position if you do lose income. You could focus on eating healthy, exercising and sleeping well to boost your immune system. When you begin to focus on what you can control you will find yourself spending less time worrying and more time living. And then there are our expectations. Is it actually realistic for you to maintain your usual high standards at work while trying to be the perfect partner and home-school your children? There’s a reason we don’t usually do this, it’s impossible. By readjusting our expectations, we avoid feeling like we are failing at everything and instead acknowledge that we are doing the best with what resources we have. To do this it’s important to challenge your inner narrator. When your selftalk shifts to being unhelpful and critical, pause, notice that it is happening and challenge your thoughts. Just because you think you are failing in being present with your children or aren’t obtaining high standards at work, doesn’t mean that it’s fact. Remind yourself that these are unprecedented times and you are in fact doing really well with the resources you have. So ease up on yourself, practice some self-compassion and remember you have it in you to readjust and rise to the challenges COVID-19 is throwing your way.


Finding the right lawyer By Greg Rodgers of RBG Lawyers

You are confronted with a complex problem for either you or your client that you know has legal issues and consequences. You need help. Do you go to the lawyer you used the last time you needed one, hoping that he or she knows something about this sort of problem? Do you call a friend? Do you type what you hope to be relevant words into a search engine on the internet? Do you try to fumble your way through the best you can, hoping you can get through the problem without a lawyer? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’ve probably done the wrong thing by you or your client. This article lists some tips to help you find the right lawyer for the right situation.


Not all lawyers are the same. Despite often-commented criticisms of lawyers these days, they are usually the first to admit that they don’t know everything. Even in ancient times, lawyers usually did not try to be all knowing for all people. Nowadays, laws are even more complex and can change rapidly. While it is good to have ready access to a generalist who can point you in the right direction for a lot of what you might do, it is even more important to know when you need to find a lawyer with specialist skills. Your ‘go to’ lawyer may not be the best person to consult to help find the specialist you need unless you can trust that ‘go to’ lawyer to give you a frank, impartial opinion.

often a sure way to find specialist lawyers to perform the services you need.

Big firms v small firms There has been a massive expansion in the size of law firms in Australia (and overseas) over the last 20 years. With sheer numbers of lawyers, larger firms can organise them into different practice teams in which lawyers deal with problems in discrete areas all the time. With that experience and concentration of skills, together with the ability to promote that skill and experience in the market, large firms are

Smaller law firms, especially those concentrated in the CBD, may well have lawyers with just as much skill and experience in a particular field, but with the added advantage of having smaller work teams, shorter and more direct lines of communication to the client, making them more responsive to a particular client’s needs.

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However, that is not to say that a large firm lawyer will be the right choice for a client in all cases. Larger firms can mean higher fees caused by more overheads and higher staff levels. The impressive premises and the efficiency of their marketing also comes at a price to the client. Sometimes, a client can be confronted with a team of lawyers when only one or two are needed. Having been sold on the impressive skill and experience of a senior lawyer, the client may find that a much younger and less experienced lawyer will deal with the client’s problem.

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Tips on how to find the right lawyer The following tips have been distilled by listening to clients with legal needs over many years who have had both good and bad experiences in choosing a lawyer.

1. Contrary to popular belief, bigger is not always better. The old saying in middle management – “No one got into trouble for choosing IBM” – is just that, an old saying for middle management. The right lawyer could be in a big firm or a small firm. No matter how strong the reputation of the lead lawyer is in a team, the overall quality of the service can often be more affected by how good the junior lawyers are at executing the service. This is where shorter lines of communication in smaller teams can help to ensure the quality of the senior lawyer dictates the quality of the team. 2. Ignore self-promotion by lawyers. Selfpromotion can come in different forms. It can be from their own website or brochures; it can be by being quoted in news articles which have been ‘planted’ or generated through a media release by that lawyer or firm. Just because a lawyer or their firm says they are good in an area, doesn’t mean they are, or that they are the right lawyer for your matter. 3. Independent media articles in which several lawyers from different firms are mentioned may be a good guide because one would hope that the journalist has carried out some degree of investigation to source opinions from lawyers experienced on the subject. 4. Third party opinions are more reliable than self-promoted profiles. Ask around. The more people you ask, the more likely you will find that other people have come across the right lawyer for a similar issue. It’s proven that a satisfied client tells four people; a dissatisfied client tells eleven. (By the way, that ratio probably holds true for other professions as well.) 5. Industry associations such as the FBAA are a great source of information. Our members come across lawyers in similar matters to yours all the time. Talk to other members. Learn from their experiences. 6. The right lawyer may not be out there promoting their skills. If they don’t have a well-oiled marketing machine, and are not out promoting themselves, that may be because they are busy doing work with the skills you need.

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7. Other lawyers often know or can at least help to identify who the real specialists are. If you are lucky enough to have a ‘go to’ lawyer who has good general legal knowledge, and is prepared to be objective in giving an opinion, then he or she has probably come across specialist lawyers through attending conferences, reading legal profession publications or through personal experience in other matters. Ask your ‘go to’ lawyer for an impartial referral to a specialist. It may be the best advice he or she can give you to help in that situation. 8. The legal profession itself is well organised, through law societies and the overarching Law Council of Australia. Those organisations have specialist committees in many legal fields, comprising lawyers who are usually peer-recognised and who are at the cutting edge of the law in their fields. Part of your assignment in trying to find the right lawyer should include asking the law society in your state or territory for references to lawyers on their committees in particular fields.

9. There are published guides such as Doyle’s Guide (doylesguide.com) that provide lists of reputable and recognised lawyers in specialist areas. Having obtained some recommendations from other sources, try searching for those recommendations on such guides. 10. Don’t be afraid to ask a lawyer what work they have done before in the particular field and what resources they have in their firm. Trust your instinct. If you feel uncertain after hearing their pitch, then you can always keep looking. It is better to spend some time at the start to find the right lawyer, than to rush in and instruct a lawyer only to find later that it was the wrong decision. It can also be more expensive to change lawyers along the way. These 10 tips should help you find lawyers who are better equipped to deal with your particular problem. How you then contract and communicate with the right lawyer is a completely different topic which will be addressed in the future. Look out for later articles in this series.

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STATE 2020

Christine Green

Nick Wormald

Queensland - State President

New South Wales & ACT - State President

Liberty Network Services Mobile: 0434 338 584 Email: qld@fbaa.com.au

Grow Capital Mobile: 0488 810 555 Email: nsw@fbaa.com.au

Bernard Desmond

Trent Carter

Victoria & Tasmania - State President

Western Australia - State President

Director Feedback Finance Pty Ltd Mobile: 0499 888 666 Email: vic@fbaa.com.au

Director Provident Lending & Business Solutions Mobile: 0448 773 310 Email: wa@fbaa.com.au

Joff O’shannessy South Australia & Northern Territory - State President Director Finance Opportunities Mobile: 0419 820 149 Email: sa@fbaa.com.au

Would you like more information on an FBAA event or PD Day thats happening in your local area? Maybe you have some feedback or an issue you would like to discuss?

Finance Brokers Association of Australia Street: Level 1, 116 Ipswich Road, Wooloongabba Qld 4102 Post: PO Box 177, Coorparoo Qld 4151 Phone: (07) 3847 8119 Email: info@fbaa.com.au Web: www.fbaa.com.au


Broker Magazine


Tony Carter

Peter J White AM

Chris Szigeti


Managing Director


Cert IV Finance, Graduate Management Qualification (GMQ) – UWA

MAICD, FBAA Life Member

Dip Mortgage Lending, AFB, MAICD, REIQ Cert IV Property Services (RE), FBAA Life Member

Special Responsibilities Chairman of the Board of Directors Tony has been involved with the motor and finance industry for over 40 years, the last 20 as Dealer Principal/Director of 3 motor dealerships. He has been engaged with finance since early career days at AGC and was a Licensed Finance Broker in WA from 2004 to 2013 ending as an ACL holder when he resigned from the motor dealership position. Today Tony holds a Credit Rep role under his son’s company Echo Finance and runs his own Vehicle and Finance Brokerage in WA – Brokerage WA.

Special Responsibilities Government, Media and Strategy Peter has vast experience in Banking and Finance spanning over 40 years, which includes his most recent admission onto the advisory board of the Small Business Association of Australia. Peter is highly engaged with Government and Industry Regulators ensuring beneficial outcomes for current & future reviews that are, and will be undertaken. Peter has held FBAA roles of NSW President, National Vice President, National President, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.

Over the past 20 years Tony has been on three NFP boards – BIZLINK – Chairman, Asthma Foundation WA – Chairman and Asthma Australia – Director.

Principal Broker Brokerage WA Phone: 0418 911 220 Email: tcarter@fbaa.com.au

Phone: 07 3847 8119 Email: pwhite@fbaa.com.au

Special Responsibilities - Vice Chairman and IDR Chairman Chris has been involved in the finance industry since 1975, running his own Mortgage and Finance business, Chris Szigeti & Associates t/as CSA Finance and Mortgages Can Do since He started his finance career with IAC ( Citibank ), then 10 years with AGC, where he held senior managerial roles covering all aspects of Finance. Chris was a founding member of FBAQ in 1992 which evolved into the FBAA. He was Queensland State President (2004-2009), first elected to the Board in 2009 as National Treasurer (2009-11). Chris was admitted to the status of Life Member in 2014 in appreciation of services provided to the Association and Members.

Managing Director Chris Szigeti & Associates Pty Ltd T/as CSA Finance & Mortgages Can Do Phone: (07) 5592 2635 Email: cszigeti@fbaa.com.au


Kim Szigeti Director - Company Secretary JP (Qual), DipFS, AFB, MAICD, GIA (Affiliated)

Director Special Responsibilities Company Secretary, Director Policies, State Branches Kim Szigeti has vast experience in finance and mortgage broking spanning more than 20 years, and currently holds a Real Estate Licence. Prior to this Kim held various positions in retail and hospitality, as well as volunteer in previous and present positions with community organisations. Kim joined FBAA in 2005, was Secretary of QLD Council 2007-2009, and elected to the Board in 2015.

Mortgages Can Do Phone: (07) 5592 2635 Email: kszigeti@fbaa.com.au

Stephen Rasmussen

Gus Gilkeson



B.Com (Prof Acct), Cert IV (FMB), CPFB, MAICD, FBAA Life Member

Director Special Responsibilities­­ Audit & Risk Committee, Chairman- Equity Release/ Reverse Mortgage Committee Stephen has been involved in the finance and banking industry for more than 40 years, starting with the CBA in a branch environment. Stephen started his own broking business in 1995, essentially as a one-man operation. Stephen was appointed as QLD/NT State President in 2009, and then elected to wthe Board in 2016.

Managing Director Tailored Lending Concepts Mobile: 0412 295 875 Email: srasmussen@fbaa.com.au

Chair of State Presidents Committee, Member of Governance Committee, Commercial, Equipment, Motor and New Entrants Committee Angus (Gus) has spent 20 years in financial business development, product development and origination – primarily responsible for loan origination and structuring. He has held successful roles building and running teams with domestic trading and investment banks, financial advisory firms, private lenders, mortgage and funds management, commercial finance broking. Gus has reviewed thousands of individual business and property finance applications in most sectors and has completed billions in loan settlements. Gus holds tertiary qualifications in Information Technology, Financial Advisory, Mortgage and Finance Broking.

Managing Director Grow Capital Mobile: 0423 001 002 Email: ggilkeson@fbaa.com.au

Rick Nieuwenhoven

Angelo Lauro



B Economics (Business), B Education (in Service), GCFP, FIPA GAICD, Member EO, DipFS

Special Responsibilities – Chairman of New Entrants committee, Member of the Finance and Risk Management and Renumeration Committee Rick Nieuwenhoven has vast experience in accounting practice and education, finance, financial planning, property investment, and mortgage broking spanning more than 15 years, and currently is a registered agent of ASIC. Rick joined FBAA in 2012, was SA State President 2013-15, and elected to the Board in 2015.

Business Owner Nieuvision Mobile: 0423 001 002 Email: rnieuwenhoven@fbaa.com.au

Special Responsibilities – CAM: Commercial Equipment, Asset Finance & Motor Dealers Angelo has had several careers in executive and development roles across various sectors in the past 20 years with more than 10 years in Finance specialising in the Asset Finance sector. Angelo has built successful businesses including one of the largest asset brokerages in Australia. He currently is the director of a boutique aggregation business supporting brokers across Australia and currently works with the CAM committee supporting asset brokers and motor dealers.

Director Australian Finance Aggregation Phone: (07) 3193 9447 Email: alauro@fbaa.com.au

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Broker. June 2020  

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