MFAA Conference 2009 – A Lending Central Live blogcast!


The MFAA Conference this year is sure to be an interesting event, with everything that’s been happening this year, there’s bound to be something worth listening too!

Last week we wanted to know how many of you are actually going to be going this year, with various media reports these days mentioning that attendances at conferences and events have been impacted by the financial crisis.

The results of that poll only provided us with re-assurance that these reports were accurate with a huge 72% (as at time of writing this) of our respondents letting us know that they were NOT attending this year.

There are always various reasons why people can’t go and so I decided that this year, thanks to the generous support of our site sponsors, we’re going to go on behalf of everyone who can’t be there!

Yup, that’s right, I’m going to be doing a “live” blogcast!

What? I hear everyone ask to themselves…

Here’s what’s happening:

I’m going to be convering the conference on Lending Central for everyone to jump on and see what they are missing.  I’ll be going to the seminars and reporting back to you on how useful they might be to everyone, blogging from the expomart will be a big focus for me this year as I will be able to get some video going for you to watch and of course, photos – everyone loves seeing photos!  Hopefully we may be able to have a chat with people via video for you as well!

We’ll also be expanding on our twitter feed and I’ll be tweeting live from the show using my trusty Iphone of course to let you know who I’m seeing, what the stands are like etc. So make sure to jump on Twitter and get an account if you don’t have one and follow us for updates!

For those of you not going, let us know if there’s anything in particular that you would like us to cover and I’ll do my best to get there for you!

For those of you who are going – I hope to bump into you and say hi!  I’ll be the one in the Lending Central shirt!

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  1. I’d rather watch paint dry, why would I waste any more money over and above my useless annaul subscription fee to hear what this toothless organisation has to say. I simply don’t care how they and the majors are getting on…….becuase that’s who they represent.

    Perhaps they should just have a “love in” with the major banks..

  2. Maybe the fact that 72% of brokers aren’t going to the annual conferencee should tell them something…….We’re over it with this hopeless organisation.

    Number of those 72% who will tune into the blogcast? My guess is zero.

  3. I couldn’t agree more with the above two comments. The MFAA is a joke, plain and simple.
    The only outcome I want to see as a result of the conference is an assurance that we will no longer be railroaded into being a member of this sham organisation by the banks once licensing comes in.

    I’ll bet London to a brick that the overwhelming reason that 72% of us are not attending is because we have better things to do with out time than watch our so called industry body bend over on our behalf once again for the banks.

    Take a few photos of that.

  4. Most brokers are now left in a position of spending all their time working in the business rather than working on the business bought about by a rapidly deteriorating outlook and resultant fall in income. We do after all have to eat and feed the kids, pay bills plus not to mention the mortgage.

    As a broker however, I will be attending as I feel we need to take a stance and get involved in our industry and voice some of the concerns we all share as brokers.

    Wish me luck!!

  5. 72% hey, well how many voted. Let’s face it there would have been less than 100 people who voted so I wouldn’t be using that figure as a reliable cage. Hey but this is Lending Central so anything goes…right?

  6. Hi everyone,

    @Ozboy – we actually had just over 100 votes for the very short term that we’ve had the poll up hence why we think it’s actually an ok figure – naturally we’d love to have a larger sampling vote, hence why we tend to have our polls run over a longer period.

    @Greg – good to hear you’ll be going Greg! I find your views encouraging that you still feel the conference a good opportunity to get involved.

    @Damien, Neil, John – As someone who’s been involved with the MFAA conferences for almost 15 years, I do find them to be a good networking opportunity to talk with other people and see if there’s some resolution for the issues that are at hand. Do you find other industry conferences to be a good opportunity at all or are your views of the MFAA conference the same for all conferences? Just out of interest, is this the first year that you won’t be attending?



  7. Dear lending central 100 or there abouts is considered a real sampling for these types of surveys , I voted NO , why , finance conferences held in june are a complete pain , brokers really would prefer to have them in the first quarter or third quarter , not 3 weeks from the end of the financial year.
    Secindly why would I want to spend over 2,000 each to go and see what the majors want us to see . I wish every one luck to push the point that it is justa talk fest , will the brokers get to say what they think – Nope.

    I would rather work in my business.

    Here is a challenge for next year for the MFAA how about a 1 day full conference with a night time event and the fly ouit again , cost say 200 to 300 each plus fares & accfomidation say on a thursday all lenders sponsorships are banned, but they can exhibt , and the brokers get to say what we think??? Good idea , we will see, bet they won’t take up that option.

  8. Hi Scott

    I have never attended an MFAA conference and I never will. I have been telling everyone who will listen to me for years that the MFAA was a waste of money and its nice to see that other brokers are also getting the message and starting to voice their discontent.

    My fervent hope is that government licensing will spell the end of the MFAA once and for all.

    As for other industry conferences, I have attended a few over the years. I would have to say that I am generally not a fan, as nothing ever seems to come of them and they inevitably provide a platform to those who love to hear the sound of their own voices the most with little or no result.

    Hate to sound cynical.



  9. Damien, Neil and John – I couldnt agree more with you guys.

    How about getting the truth out there and put a survey on here asking whether the MFAA is a waste of money and we whether we brokers are interested in giving them more money to do nothing for us.

    72% of brokers are telling Naylor where to stick his conference and his organisation.

    Challenger is the one looking after the little brokers and then we see the MFAA riding their wave.

  10. Hi Scott,

    I have never attended an MFAA conference , and wouldn’t even consider it even it was all expenses paid!..I am just over the MFAA full stop, as I can’t see how they add any value whatsoever to the Broker industry,unless of course they are batting for the major banks!

    Now that these disgraceful & totally unacceptable service levels have continued for 6 months, I have given up on the majors ever making any effort whatsoever to improve service levels (which is the major, major issue at hand) because they don’t have a genuine interest to do so, if they did, it would not be an issue today just as it’s not an issue within any major branch network. They hate brokers and it’s about time they just come out and say it( oh I forgot ,they have by slashing our incomes by 35%), as their actions(or lack of )most certainly say they don’t wish to deal with us in the short, medium and long term if at all possible.

    They are fully aware that SERVICE is something that we Brokers offer and they can’t, so what do they do…..well we all know what the are up to , and that’s the most disappointing part of this, the fact that they are doing their absolute best to effect our service levels…a very dirty game they are playing, played out by morally bankrupt bank execs.

    Our concerns regarding this have fallen on deaf ears , and I suspect that nothing will ever change, thankfully we still have access to some great non-bank lenders, otherwise I would just walk away from this industry after 7 good years. Who represents the Brokers volumes, in a way the the majors would actually pay ANY attention to?, nobody and that’s the big problem here.

    End of rant!

    I have attended other conferences over the years and don’t find them overly useful to my business, but yes I agree they can be a good networking opportunity.

  11. @OK is it believable – Glad to hear that you’re happy with the sampling for the survey, we always like to get things as accurate as we can. As for the conference timing, I’ve never quite heard that mentioned before. I guess actually being at the conference you tend to hear that the people there are happy to be there as opposed to it being a pain. Personally I like the idea of a third quarter convention! The whole sponsorship issue is a tough one and one in which I can understand the need for sponsors – after all we have them here which helps to keep the site free for our readers. You mention that lenders sponsorships should be banned – what about non-lenders sponsoring? Should a broker be allowed to sponsor? While I’m not taking sides, the MFAA really is supposed to be the “Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia” – there are a lot of different participants in this industry.

    @John – Don’t worry, you don’t sound cynical! There are some real issues at hand and it does seem that things are changing in the industry, whether good or bad, only time will tell. Your views expressed are not alone and I have heard similar comments in regards to conferences!

    @Damien – As I mention back to John above, things are changing and I agree with you completely that brokers provide an excellent service to their customers. You mention that your concerns have fallen on deaf ears, but I’d be interested to hear people’s opinions on what some of our readers have referred to as “voting with your feet” and not use the major lenders. Is the opportunity around for those who provide excellent service, and there are plenty of lenders around that do, to make a difference with brokers?



  12. LC, I for one have voted with my feet and my new lender panel has just six lenders on it including one non conformer. Guess what…. no majors. In six weeks it has had no effect on enquiry levels and application to approval time has dropped down to very acceptable levels.

    I have not yet had to refer anyone on to another Broker and my commission levels are back up to what they were prior to the big bank con job. As my lenders get to know what I have done their support has grown and I have received several referrals from them.

    And also I will not be attending the conference just to be bombarded by Big Bank Bribery and Corruption.

  13. I notice a lot of these negative comments are coming from people who have never even attended an MFAA conference. I went last year and found it so useful to my business that I didn’t even hesitate to go again this year.
    Whatever your opinion is of the MFAA, you owe it to yourselves, your business and your clients to keep up to date with industry changes, especially at this point in time. There are so many points of interest…..advances in software, product diversification, the panel discussion should be of great interest with hot topics like fee for service, regulation, loan processing times. Just listening to other more succesful brokers and how they achieved is worth the price of admission alone. Forget that it is being organised by the MFAA….a body that many of you obviously loathe. You must view this as an opportunity to expand your horizons and gain some real benefits for your business. I am not standing up for the MFAA here…..just pointing out that many of you will miss a great opportunity here.

  14. LC We understand that there are many different participants in this industry. Our frustration lies in the fact that you seem to do nothing for our side of it. We’re the ones getting shfted on commissions, and we’re the ones having to endure 40 minute waiting times to speak to some half baked moron who hardly knows what day it is.

    What support do we get from you lot regarding these issues? Well, so far the silence has been deafening.

    Once brokers are edged out of the picture, which is what the majors are blatantly trying to do now, who will you represent then? The major banks?

    One last thing, what fee do the majors pay for membership? Is it on a pro rata basis, or do they get away with $300? Or is it free…….which wouldn’t surprise anyone here…..

  15. Hello Scott,
    I am very sad that those who bag the MFAA obviously do not take the time to understand what their association (yes THEIR association)has done to ensure that the Federal Government does not introduce inappropriate legislation that will govern our industry through ASIC. A team has worked tirelessly liaising with the minister Senator Nick Sherry and treasurey to rid the proposed legislation of innappropriate sections that would have impacted on our businesses in a draconian way. The misinter and beaurocrats have listened and have acted on the associations advise. As a result we will see appropriate laws passed and licencing made considerably easier that it would have been otherwise without the Associations intervention. As individual small businesses we would not have been heard, let alone heeded. Those who bag their association are those who never attend the many functions and seminars that take an enormous effort to arrange for the benefit of members. A PD day that was organised to be run in Canberra by two state councillors was cancelled due to a lack of support from members the state councils work very hard and unpaid for their fellow members, may i suggest that those who bag the organisation put themselves up for election to state council and then work to make a difference. As far as the big banks owning the association is rubbish, it is a professional body made up largely by brokers, it is not a union nor can it be seen as a cartel to negotiate commissions or protest against drops in the same, ASIC would has the MFAA on toast under the trade practices ACT. Of interest the Board passed a resolution to ensure that from this year 70% of all state councils are made up of people who deal directly with the public. And further if the cynics (of which I am certaily one) think that the big banks run the MFAA think again, the make up of the NSW/ACT state council has one banker, 4 aggregators and the rest are brokers. I hope i have made my points clear enough, i usually don’t write comments for publication but i am fed up with people bagging my professional association when i know it is working hard for me.
    Kind regards

  16. To – ‘Made for Walkin’ –
    I have found exactly the same thing.
    When I explain to the client what the Big Boys are doing and how ultimately they (the consumer) may suffer, they are right behind me and accept my recommendation. When I have had to go to a Big Boy it is st fee for service and then rebate to client the bank comm. I had to ‘gird the loins’ the first time but was very pleasently surprised how supportive clients were. Yes I had to highlight the service angle. That was easy because I was sitting at their kitchen table. None of the banks would do that. I win, consumer wins. Better comm, better service, low fees, competative % rate and helping to break a virtual monopoly by the Big Four (or ologopoly for the purest)
    ‘Onya Walken’

  17. Hi Warren,

    I think you may very well have touched on the whole issue here. Many of our readers feel that nothing is happening because there hasn’t been enough communication. You made some very interesting points, many of which I’m almost embarressed to say that even I didn’t know about!

    To everyone else – do some of the points that warren has made above make you feel like the MFAA really is working hard for everyone in the industry?

    Ps I hate airports!



  18. I for one am attending. While I can understand some of the negative sentiment around the MFAA, they have done a wonderful job working with Govt to purge much of the negativity surrounding the industry from years gone by. As a networking opportunity with fellow brokers and to be able to get face to face with the senior lenders is well worth the tax deductable expense!

  19. Warren
    As a volunteer on many organisation over the years I certainly agree with your comments regarding the work put in by those that participate in MFAA. What I disagree with is your assertion that because the MFAA got involved in the new legislation debates therefore they are beyond criticism, suggestion or comment. Dealing with governmenats etc. what I pay them to do so don’t make a virtue out of a necessity.
    You also set up a straw man in your comment about banks “owning the Association”. I have never read that comment and have been around the industry from the start of the MFAA (when the Banks did own it). The comment really is that Lenders and Aggregators have too much INFLUENCE over the MFAA and this must have been true otherwise why the need to change to 70% representation by working brokers on State Councils.
    And don’t drag a red herring across the trail by blaming ASIC and the TPC for the reason why the MFAA can’t comment on commission changes.
    Effectively the MFAA represents the BROKER DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL, 40% of the home loan market and any changes, including renumeration, come under their purview. I expect my Association to be involved in all aspects of that Distribution Channel – commissions, legislation, licensing, bureaucratic oversight, service levels and media and most importantly I EXPECT THEM TO BE ON MY SIDE.
    This has not been and is still not the case and that is why so many Broker Members get frustrated. I appreciate as a member the work put in by you and other volunteers but please don’t be like a chef telling us how much work went into the entree and how lucky we were to get it as an excuse for failing to deliver a main course.

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