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A year into the role with ANZ Commercial Broker General Manager, Angelo Manos

                        How does your experience in finance equip you to work with brokers? With over 24 years of global banking experience, I’ve had the pleasure of working across multiple industries, segments and geographies and have worked with small businesses through to complex global institutions. I spent many years responsible for our Specialised Businesses team which included Health & Property Finance.  This has benefited me in my current role as I was part of building market leading specialised propositions and understanding the intrinsic link between running a successful relationship business and facing the market with the appropriate appetite settings My team often comment on how I thrive when working directly with customers because I still need to step in to help from time to time. This allows me to remain connected with the daily challenges that our brokers, customers and bankers face. Importantly, over time I’ve built strong relationships and seen firsthand why trust and transparency are critical to any partnership. This is important when considering ANZ’s relationship with the broker industry. We have an obligation to customers and brokers to do the things we say we’ll do, to listen and make decisions with our customer’s best interests in mind.  What immediate changes have you made since you came into this role? From an internal perspective, my business looks very different to what it was when I first started in the role. Customers and businesses are voting with their feet and as a result, we’ve seen rapid growth of the broker industry in a considerably short space of time....

NSW Golf Day – Highlights of the day

This month CAFBA held its NSW Golf Day at the recently refurbished Concord Golf Club on Thursday, 14th March 2019 . Whilst the skies threatened all day, the  rain held off until the last group made it back to the club house. The course was in great condition and all who attended had a very enjoyable day. These social events provide a great opportunity to network with colleagues, whether broker or lender. Special Thanks to CAFBA member Graeme Latta who again did a fantastic job organising the golf day. Graeme puts in many voluntary hours ensuring a great day, and it is much appreciated. Thanks also to assistance on the day from Alan Hicking, Andrew Dodwell, Karen Staines and Patricia Kruse. We would also like to acknowledge the sponsors, without whose support these days would not be possible, and to Hermes Capital for providing the drinks cart. Oatram 1st   Metro Finance 2nd   Pickles 3rd   CAFBA 4th NTP NAB 5th   Capital Finance 6th NTP   Findesk 7th   Macquarie 8th   Westpac 9th   ANZ 10th   Platform Finance 11th   Flexi Commercial 12th   CAFBA 13th   Camp Quality / EBP RSL 14th NTP CAFBA 15th   Classic Funding Group 16th NTP BOQ 17th   Scottish Pacific Business Finance 18th Longest Straightest Drive OTHER SPONSORS Easy Lane @ Windsor RSL RTF Finance Hermes Capital The major prize winners were, with special mention to Rob Gibbenson for a Hole in One on the 16th – unfortunately this year there was no car on offer for the hole in one prize! ·       Winner Net – Score 53.5: Colin Dawe,...

Thinking Outside the Box – some insights from Steve Geller.

I have been around the equipment leasing industry long enough to know that the phrase “outside the box” was a unique proposition and something to strive for.  When many of the funders in our industry were very parochial in their approach and in need of booking business, particularly to fill securitization conduits, creativity was sought.  Brokers were encouraged, and rewarded, if they came up with ways to do business that did not fit the mold. Funders needed the volume and looked for ways to get business that was unique and creatively constructed.  As long as the broker could build a case for doing deals safely in a particular fashion nothing was really out of bounds. How times have changed.  Lenders have broker manuals which are tomes and spell out exactly how business is to be done. Creativity is not rewarded any longer. That is very discouraging. As business has contracted and delinquencies and charge-offs have risen, credit is being reviewed more thoroughly and selectivity has increased to the point that a credit officer is questioned on far more credit decisions than he/she ever has, and particularly those transactions that become delinquent or take a far more serious downturn.  It is human nature to be more careful  and cross every “ t” and dot every “i” to the point that for any reason an officer might say to themselves, why bother?  They might believe that the close inspection is not worth the hassle.  It gets to the point that so much background information is asked for even small deals that customers feel it is too intrusive and they go other...

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is now open and here to assist small businesses.

Established in November 2018, AFCA provides fair, independent and effective external dispute resolution for small businesses and consumers. We are a one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses with complaints about financial firms, including banks, credit providers, insurance companies, financial and investment advisers and superannuation funds. This is a free service for small businesses and consumers to access. AFCA replaces the Financial Ombudsman Service, the Credit and Investments Ombudsman and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal. AFCA’s capacity to deal with small business complaints is significantly greater than predecessor schemes. We define a small business as having fewer than 100 employees (an increase from 20 employees), and we can consider complaints about small business credit facilities up to $5 million (previously $2 million Importantly, the amount of compensation we can award per claim for such complaints has more than tripled, to $1 million ($2 million for primary producers). Different thresholds apply for other financial products and services. For most matters, a complaint must be lodged with AFCA within six years of the complainant first becoming aware of the problem, or within two years of a response from the financial firm. However, the Federal Government has recently announced that for a period of 12 months commencing 1 July 2019, AFCA can consider complaints back to 1 January 2008, based on our current scope and thresholds rather than those applying at the time. We will be issuing guidance prior to 1 July 2019 to explain how small businesses can raise these matters with us. Contact AFCA on 1800 931 678 or visit afca.org.au if you have a financial complaint or wish to know more...
A Professional Industry needs professional – let’s start the conversation

A Professional Industry needs professional – let’s start the conversation

When I started my business some 20 years ago, I was often embarrassed to call myself a broker.  When I left my job to become a broker, the looks of disappointment amongst my colleagues was very evident.  Why was a promising banker leaving a credible profession to become a broker?  Some even had the decency to ask me directly.  Slowly but surely, the credibility of myself as a professional commercial finance broker, as well as the credibility of the craft itself improved.  Commercial mortgage broking is becoming legitimate. The attention and importance we now obtain from the banks and lenders is encouraging and the type of new broker we now attract is increasing in sophistication.   I revel at how far we have come as an industry.  But, I’m daunted by how much further we have to go to becoming a profession.  A recognised, educated and qualified profession whose value is widely understood and whose services are just as required as accountants and solicitors.  In the journey to professionalise, we will have only a few opportunities to take major leaps forward in this pursuit, and these opportunities need to be identified and exploited.  We currently have such an opportunity!  An opportunity to demonstrate to the lenders that duly qualified commercial finance brokers are an efficient and effective model for them.  That we are a friend and not a foe.  An opportunity to demonstrate to our clients that we are a cost effective and efficient vehicle to access vital capital for their business.  That we have a deep understanding of their industry, their constraints, their pressures and because we have...
CAFBA comments on the final Royal Commission report released today

CAFBA comments on the final Royal Commission report released today

CAFBA welcomes the release of Commissioner Hayne’s final report of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. CAFBA acknowledges the work of Commissioner Hayne and his colleagues for the depth of their investigations and for their understanding of the intricate nature of various aspects of the financial services system. We are naturally pleased that there is no finding of market failure in the commercial broker channel which CAFBA represents. We are very pleased that the Royal Commission has recommended that the National Consumer Credit Protection Act (NCCP Act) should not extend to small business lending and that the Point of Sale Exemption of NCCP should be removed. CAFBA has strongly advocated for these changes to government and regulators for many years as well as directly to the Royal Commissioner and we welcome the Government’s support of these recommendations.    CAFBA will now examine the document in detail to ensure that remedies proposed for consumer borrowers do not impact on our ability to deliver workable outcomes for business borrowers. More analysis needs to be done on the recommended changes to mortgage broker remuneration in the consumer home loan space, to ensure competition with banks is not diminished, or rural consumers are potentially denied access to competitive home loan products. CAFBA President David Gandolfo said today: “CAFBA members are career professionals who are interested in the best possible outcomes for their business customers, and they don’t want their customers to be impacted by new regulations and remedies that are intended for an entirely different area of the financial services sector.”   Regulators, bankers and policy makers need to be careful...
The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm

2019 is posed to be a very challenging credit market with numerous negative headwinds combining to create the “perfect storm”. Some of these elements include: The Banking Royal Commission and resultant tightening of credit policies by banks ahead of the commission’s findings/directive, with particular focus on verifying expenses and adherence to HEM. Falling house prices coming off record highs, predominately in Sydney and Melbourne, but also across the broader Australian housing market. Tightening of government policy for some overseas investment markets (e.g. China). The completion of a high number of residential apartments which are due to come onto the market in 2019, particularly in Sydney & Melbourne. Publicity around the Opal Apartment saga, highlighting poor construction practices that have occurred in the boom market, potentially causing an increase in caution and concern for potential buyers and in turn placing further down pressure on prices. The upcoming 2019 Federal Election and concerns about a possible federal labor government cracking down on negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions. Borrowers with interest-only mortgages worth around $300 billion are bracing for a credit crunch as their fixed terms, taken at the height of the east coast property boom, begin to expire. It is estimated that based on the nations $1.7 trillion mortgage loan book, close to 900,000 loans, or 1 in 6 mortgages  will be under review and either extended with existing lenders, switched to higher principal and interest repayments, or transferred to a new lender. The above will inevitably increase the number of people placing their properties on the market with holiday homes and investment properties the first off the cap....

SMART BoxTM – Making It Easy to Compare the Cost of Small Business Loans

If you try to compare business loans from several lenders, it’s not always clear what your client will pay in interest and fees. This is because loan information is presented in different ways, so there hasn’t been a standardised way to compare business loans – until now. What is SMART Box? Smart Box (Straightforward Metrics Around Rate and Total Cost) is a tool to compare small business loans using several standardised metrics. How does the SMART BoxTM work? The SMART BoxTM is a one-page disclosure document with two parts. The top of the page includes the basic elements of the loan, including the Loan Amount, Disbursement Amount, Total Repayment Amount, the expected Loan Term, and Repayment Frequency. The rest of the document shows six common loan pricing metrics: Total Cost of Credit, Average Monthly Payment, Total Interest Payment (TIP), Annual Percentage Rate (APR), Cents on the Dollar, and Factor Rate. It also shows whether new fees apply or if there’s a reduction in the Total Payment Amount if the loan is paid off early. You can find an example of the SMART BoxTM document here, including a breakdown of each section. Why SMART BoxTM? In early 2018, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s Office reported on transparency and disclosure in the fintech sector. It found that 47% of fintechs believed SME lending needed to be more transparent. As a result, the Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA) developed the Online Small Business Lenders Code Of Lending Practice. In June 2018, six leading small business lending fintechs, including Moula, signed the Code. They agreed to meet small business legal...

Connective Asset Finance – Moving finance broking into the modern era.

According to recent research* many established and traditional finance broking businesses are struggling to compete with younger, tech savvy players with a more agile approach. But now one of our leading aggregators has created a solution - one that delivers a painless transition in a rapidly changing commercial and business finance broking industry. Head of Connective Asset Finance, Brent Starrenburg claims that joining an aggregator (like Connective) should offer brokers a lot more these days. Whilst access to a larger panel of lenders is certainly important, it’s compliance support, process efficiency and cost-effective technology that commercial and business finance brokers really need and want. “We’ve created a business-focused operations system that’s extremely user-friendly and easily adapts to suit any broking business model” says Brent. “Mercury is a built-for-purpose IT platform for brokers that we develop in-house. It’s proven to significantly increase the number of customers a broker can service efficiently, which also greatly expands their potential for profit. Not only that, it’s specifically designed to help brokers overcome a wide variety of challenges.” The biggest challenge is change. Recent research conducted by Connective Asset Finance to identify these challenges revealed four key trends currently effecting the industry and set to drive big changes over the next few years. These included: ·   An inevitable transition toward the use of technology and automation ·         An increasing focus on compliance and industry regulation ·         Changes to how credit is assessed by lending institutions ·         An increasing demand for industry-wide education and training standards. “Joining Connective Asset Finance gives brokers a solution to all of these challenges” says Brent. “Mercury has a...