Finance advice

How recent changes in the finance industry will impact you

By Demii Kalavritinos
Smart Property Investment's Berkley Vale property

We’ve touched on the finance industry in the past, so we decided to dig deeper and give you the best insight on home loans, mortgage brokers and the royal commission and how it impacts property investors now and in the future.

Smart Property Investment is joined by Momentum Media’s managing editor of wealth, Aleks Vickovich, and editor of The Adviser, Annie Kane, to delve into the most recent affairs that have impacted property investment, explaining the royal commission and the changes happening in the finance industry now.

They reveal the importance of mortgage brokers to the home lending system, the latest report from the Productivity Commission and how it will increase competition for the industry and what investors should be watching out for.

You will also hear about the latest reports to read, what the team really thinks of the report and why the mortgage broker industry has grown rapidly over the last few years.

*Mention on the form for the royal commission was correct as of 13 February. The online form has since been changed  - Royal commission updates online form

 

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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Announcer:    Welcome to the Smart Property Investment Show with your host, Phil Tarrant.

Phil Tarrant: Well, g'day everyone. It's Phil Tarrant here, host of the Smart Property Investment Show. Thanks for joining us today. We're going to be very much geared towards current affairs in today's episode. So wherever you're listening to this, irrespective of where you are and what you work in and how many properties you have or how large your portfolio is, you've probably seen the news recently over the last couple of days and all this hullabaloo about a royal commission into financial services, particularly the banks.

            I'm reasonably well versed in this but I've asked a couple of people to come into the studio who live and breath this every day. It's their first thing they think about when they wake up and the last thing they think about when they go to bed. Aleksander Vickovich.

Aleks Vickovich:       G'day, Phil.

Phil Tarrant: How you going, mate? Our managing editor across our wealth products. Is that a true statement? Are you all over this?

Aleks Vickovich:       That's a true statement that that is my job title.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Aleks Vickovich:       No, it's also a true statement that I tend to think more about the banking royal commission than any sane person should.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. That's a bit sad, isn't it?

Aleks Vickovich:       Well, I mean, somebody's got to think about it 'cause otherwise there wouldn't be a royal commission. That's how I see it.

Phil Tarrant: Well, someone that's not sad, someone that has a true passion for financial journalism, Annie Kane. Annie is the editor of the Adviser, which is our platform within Momentum Media for Australia's third party mortgage industry. Annie, welcome to the show. This is your first time?

Annie Kane:  Thank you so much, Phil. Yeah, first time on SPI. Very exciting.

Phil Tarrant: You hear that, Aleks? That's the voice of reason and sensibility. Not emotion and-

Aleks Vickovich:       It does sound happier. It does sound happier, there's no doubt about that.

Annie Kane:  I can't say I'm maybe like waking up and falling asleep thinking about the royal commission. But I think it a lot, I think about it a lot.

Phil Tarrant: How big a deal is thing, Annie?

Annie Kane:  It is huge.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Annie Kane:  It is really big. And I think, actually, I was actually talking to Aleks before we came on the show about this. I was just this morning speaking to a mortgage broker in Queensland, Nicki McDavitt, who had highlighted a problem with the royal commission in that she was putting on an online form as a submission to it and noted that the only option for highlighting a problem with home loans was under the category Mortgage Broker.

            So she was saying she actually was trying to do a submission and wanted to talk about a home loan problem with a direct branch, and that is not an option in the royal commission.

Phil Tarrant: Sounds like it's now.

Annie Kane:  So she was sort of outlining-

Aleks Vickovich:       It's a wish her luck.

Annie Kane:  Yeah. She was sort of outlining like, well, why is that a problem? She called them up and said, "You know, you need to change this because all of the applications you're going to get to the royal commission talking about home loans are going to look like-

Phil Tarrant: Could only be about mortgage brokers.

Annie Kane:  Or at least look like they're about mortgage brokers.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Annie Kane:  'Cause that's the only option. And I was like, "That is such a great point." She didn't get a lot of feedback immediately. Hopefully someone will contact her soon and I'll be following up as well to try and see what the problem is.

Phil Tarrant: Make some news out of. It is-

Annie Kane:  Yeah. But, I mean, that is a fundamental flaw with the system if they are actually only allowing people to submit to the royal commission to say that the problem with a home loan was the fault of a mortgage broker.

Phil Tarrant: So nice segue into relevance for this particular episode of the Smart Property Investment Show. So every now and then, for our listeners and for you guys, we pull some of our key editorial people within our business to come on and have a chat. And you all have different views and opinions. You work across different markets. But what is the relevance for Australia's property investors with what's going on with the banks right now? And I reckon there is a lot of relevance and you need to be across this as much as possible because it may shape the way in which you receive mortgage financing into the future.

            I've got today's Fin, Financial Review, in front of me right now.

Aleks Vickovich:       We don't read the Financial Review here at Momentum Media. I don't know where you pulled that from, Phil.

Phil Tarrant: Well, normally I get most of the news.

Aleks Vickovich:       Investor Daily. Check it out, 6am every morning.

Annie Kane:  And you get most of that from Momentum.

Phil Tarrant: Normally they get most of their news from you guys. I know they just nick your stuff for the-

Annie Kane:  Well, that's right. Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: If any Financial Review journos are listening, enjoy that. Anyway, so it's Tuesday, 13th of Feb. Front page, and I've just picked this up. The lead story is Hayne slaps down banks: royal commission head tersely demands more information. Customers not treated honestly. Another thing on the front page here. Banking inquiry weighs down ASX. There's another headline here. We have lost touch with the community: ANZ. That's their CEO, Shayne Elliot, saying it.

Aleks Vickovich:       Yeah. There's a headline for you.

Phil Tarrant: There's a headline there. This royal commission. Can you just give me and our listeners a quick 101 on what it is and what it's trying to achieve?

Aleks Vickovich:       Yeah. Well, I think, you know, we've spoken about in previous episodes what a royal commission is, which is basically a, it's an inquiry that is separate to government, set up by government, that has prosecutorial powers. And you do it under our legal system in situations where there is what we call systemic illegality. So that means there's something rotten in the actual system and the royal commission is there to weed it out.

            So historically we've had them in Australia over pretty nasty stuff. You know, child sex abuse in religious and other institutions. You know, stuff that is really, you know, harmful to society. And so to have them, you know, into our financial institutions is a pretty big deal. These are, you know, the safest, most profitable businesses on the ASX. These are businesses that we all rely on every day. They contribute a huge amount to the GDP.

            And so, you know, for politicians on both sides now to be saying, you know, there's pretty illegal activity, is major. So I think to Annie's point, what happens now is really interesting because there've been all these inquiries over many, many years into the financial system. Usually, you know, they come up and they put out some sort of report. You know, it's all pretty nasty but we're going to put things in place to make it better.

            What tends to happen once it all kicks off, and it all kicked off yesterday which is why we're talking about it, is that the banks and their lobbyists will try and kind of change the conversation. So with Annie's example there of, you know, that form, that's a way that someone has very sneakily tried to pass the buck and change the conversation back to mortgage brokers. 'Cause they don't want the conversation to be about chief executives of banks.

            Similarly for the readers and for the listeners of this show, you know, I wouldn't be surprised if we start talking about negative gearing. If we start talking about things like that, that the banks would rather we were talking about, that puts focus on consumers and intermediaries, basically people who have less power, rather than focusing on themselves.

            So the point of this inquiry is meant to be for things like money laundering, for things like dodgy practises in the lending and wealth management arms. Trying to get to the very root cause of how this stuff happens. And possibly hold individuals accountable. And that's really key. Often we'll see reports that say, you know, the banking system's nasty, it's got all these incentives in it that don't work for consumers. But what you don't see is, you know, X employee at a senior level put up and potentially prosecuted.

            And that's the difference here is they can call in the cops and they can prosecute if they want to, which you can't do with a normal sort of parliamentary inquiry.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So you've got different stakeholders in this process. You have the banks. Banks have obligations to their shareholders. Banks have obligations to customers and consumers. What most customers and consumers want is competition. Competition benefits them because hopefully it means they can get more innovative financial products for cheaper the price.

            And back to the front page here of the Fin, I'm just flicking through these things. Comment here from David Murray, former CEO of CBA. He says, "Most of the time competition drives the best value from a financial system. But when systemic crises occur, the size of losses are so large that require over ... " Now that's a big headline result, right? And that's obviously what this royal commission is trying to get down to.

Aleks Vickovich:       Yeah. Well, that's what his inquiry that he ran was trying to get to as well.

Phil Tarrant: That's what his-

Aleks Vickovich:       But it didn't quite do so.

Phil Tarrant: It didn't. So here we are at the royal commission. But let's have a talk about competition, of relevance for our listeners, property investors. And, you know, Annie, you've made a good point that there seems to be ... And I saw your headline today on The Adviser which was, was it one in 10? Maybe-

Annie Kane:  Submissions.

Phil Tarrant: One in 10 was around mortgage brokers, right?

Annie Kane:  Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: So let's talk about mortgage brokers, a third party industry. What does a mortgage broker do? They help consumers get the best loan, ideally for their own circumstances. 10 years ago, 32% of all mortgages were done by mortgage brokers. Today it's 54%. So more Australians, whether they're home buyers, new mortgages, home buyers or investors, get a loan via a mortgage broker than don't.

Annie Kane:  Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: So they're pretty important, right?

Annie Kane:  Yeah. They're very important. They are really fundamental now to the home lending system. I think just going back, though, to what you were talking about competition, there is a separate commission looking into competition. We should clarify that the royal commission looks into misconduct.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Annie Kane:  So it is specifically areas where the banks or brokers or whoever in the financial services industry has failed, whether that be a legal breach or whether that be just an expectation from the community breach. Well, not necessarily a breach but under expectations, yeah. So there is a separate Productivity Commission which looks at competition, which is their first report came out last week. And that is pretty sizable, 600 odd pages of content.

Phil Tarrant: Have you read it?

Annie Kane:  I've read most of it. I've skimmed it. I spent my weekend reading it.

Phil Tarrant: Oh, there you go.

Annie Kane:  Chapter eight is all about home lending.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Annie Kane:  But, yeah, it's really, really sizable. And that also again looks at mortgage brokers and, again, banks. But that is more about how you can improve competition and they're suggesting, you know, a range of reforms potentially. This is a draught report so it's not actually been finalised yet. And we have hearings coming up in it in March.

            But the royal commission, as I said, is more into misconduct. And I think this is where the problem lies, is that it's really highlighting that this isn't just circumstantial. It isn't going to be just who said what? You need fundamental evidence to show. And one of the things that Kenneth Hayne, the commissioner, was saying in the initial hearing on Monday was that he had asked the banks for details of misconduct in December, going back over the last 10 years.

            He had received applications in January and then asked this month, February, for further details of specifics into misconduct that had happened in the last five years. And several of the major banks said they would not be able to provide him with the details in the time that he had asked, which I think was two weeks. And for him, he was basically saying, "This is not acceptable. How are you able to provide me with details for 10 years within two months but you cannot provide me with further details into misconduct in the banks in two weeks?"

Aleks Vickovich:       Does he smell a rat, does he?

Annie Kane:  WeLl, I think what he's suggesting there is because there is so much you are not able to deliver this. That is the inference that we have sort of taken from it, being like, well, if they aren't able to deliver this in the timeframe, it's because they're having to go through so much paperwork to actually find it. That's obviously not what he said emphatically.

Aleks Vickovich:       Sure, sure.

Annie Kane:  But it can be inferred.

Aleks Vickovich:       But I think that's what he's insinuating, yeah.

Annie Kane:  Yeah. He also was quite sort of adamant that the hearings into the royal commission into misconduct will not take any sort of consideration of settlements that have already taken place. So if someone has settled out of court with a bank about a particular aspect, they will not be able to hide behind that as an excuse not to be a witness in a hearing. If they're called to be a witness, they have to answer the questions given to them even if they have reached settlement.

            So he was pretty like adamant about that, saying, "Whistle blowers will not be able to be sued if they come and give evidence at the hearing."

Phil Tarrant: So some of the criticism of the royal commission is that it gets talked about, nothing happens out of it. They're toothless tigers, this sort of stuff. Going back to the front page of the Fin here, one one of the little headlines here is Packed House. If Hayne was in any doubt about the overwhelming interest in this inquiry, and he observed the three spillover courts opened up the sixth floor of the Fair Work Commission. Everyone's over this, right?

Annie Kane:  Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: This is important stuff.

Annie Kane:  It's huge.

Aleks Vickovich:       A fair few of those would have been journos but I guess the-

Phil Tarrant: Are you going to go down to this at all? Are you going to go and check it out?

Aleks Vickovich:       Yeah, yeah, definitely. But in terms of Annie's point around the Productivity Commission, I think for property investors, you know, that is the more important issue. What the royal commission is really about, for journalists they're probably equally important. And it's exciting because, you know, it does have that teeth.

            But the royal commission is more about righting injustices, righting wrongs, that have happened in the past. Which, for those people who are listening who have experienced that, it's a major deal. And that's why you've got people heckling, you've got people packing out the room. These are people who have been aggrieved.

Annie Kane:  Yeah.

Aleks Vickovich:       And as Annie was saying, there is a lot of these cases. You know, for those who haven't experienced it or who haven't been paying close attention, there are, you know, thousands of cases over decades. And Shayne Elliot, who's CEO of the ANZ, he's taken a slightly, I guess, more vocal approach in responding to it all. And he says, basically, when they were putting together those submissions, putting together all the cases of misconduct they know about and he was referencing, he said he read it, it came onto his desk and he felt stick to his stomach and he felt compelled to write to all the employees saying, you know, we've let everybody down and all this sort of thing.

            So, you know, there is a lot of stuff that has gone on. But I think the Productivity Commission and what it's getting at in terms of increasing competition, in terms of, you know, who is best placed to distribute banking products in terms of whether the four pillars policy which happened in the '90s, and that was regulating that the banks couldn't go buy each other, whether that has indeed failed. Which, I think I've argued on this show before, has.

            So I think that's really important. And that's something that investors should be watching.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. So this Productivity Commission, what is the parameters of those? Just within mortgages or is it wider?

Annie Kane:  So, the Productivity Commission is into competition in the Australian finance industry.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Annie Kane:  So it covers financial planning, it covers mortgage lending, it covers car insurance.

Aleks Vickovich:       Retail banking.

Annie Kane:  Car finance, retail banking.

Phil Tarrant: So pretty much any sort of debt solution.

Aleks Vickovich:       Or financial product.

Phil Tarrant: Or wealth creating financial product.

Annie Kane:  Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, so that's relevant to all of us. So your specialisation, your audience that you work with, Annie, is the third party mortgage industry? So this is-

Annie Kane:  Yeah. Have you not been able to tell already? It's all about brokers.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah, which is cool. And brokers, as we've pointed out, have a very important role within Australia's financial system.

Annie Kane:  Especially for competition.

Phil Tarrant: Absolutely.

Aleks Vickovich:       Although the Productivity Commission may not agree, which is sort of controversial.

Annie Kane:  Well, yes. And so some of the arguments, again, that came out was the Productivity Commission was sort of suggesting that trail commission might be a perverse incentive, they called it, for mortgage brokers. Because it could potentially see them not changing their clients from one lender to another, which could impact competition because they're getting a trail. But in my thoughts, that point is moot because they could still get upfront if they changed them, so why-

Phil Tarrant: What's your market, your sector, Australia's third party mortgage industry, think about the Productivity Commission? Are they scared of it? Are they nervous about it? Or is it welcomed?

Annie Kane:  I think they are tired of it.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Annie Kane:  And not necessarily the Productivity Commission itself, but there have been so many reviews and inquiries into mortgage broking recently and they have all covered the same ground. And they've all had the same contributors as well. So the Productivity Commission referenced heavily Choice consumer group and the Consumer Action Law Centre, both of whom do not have a favourable opinion of brokers. And Choice, it should be mentioned, actually, did try to break into the broking channel a few years back and failed.

Phil Tarrant: Was that that One Big Switch thing?

Annie Kane:  Mm.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Annie Kane:  There's some argument that the information that the Productivity Commission is relying on may already be biassed. There is obviously reference to that. In the report they're saying, you know, they have differing opinions and they have to take the sort of balance of them. But, yeah, there's definitely feeling within the broking community that the people they are listening to do not have either first-hand information or, secondly, have other agendas.

Aleks Vickovich:       Having said that, I mean, they might be tired of hearing it but there hasn't been, you know, widespread reform to the extent that I think is coming. So I think mortgage brokers have got to get used to it because, frankly, I think it's going to be a change in government at some point. I firmly believe that under, whether the next Labour Government or the one after that, mortgage broker commissions will be banned. I totally believe that.

            And having seen the financial advice industry go through that transition from commissions to fee-for-service, and that was legislated, you know, I've seen the stress that can cause. The changes to the industry, that process to professionalisation. And I think it's going to happen for broking because the point with them is that they do hold themselves out as third party distributors rather than as agents in the way that a real estate agent is an agent of the, you know, of the particular company.

            And I think a lot of the time, you know, they are just distributors that are tied to the lender. But they have a facade of looking like they're separate.

Annie Kane:  Well, I don't think that's necessarily true. They have a panel of lenders that they can go to, usually 30 or 40. So it's not like they're tied to one particular lender.

Aleks Vickovich:       Sure, sure.

Phil Tarrant: Okay, let's have a chat about this 'cause-

Aleks Vickovich:       But that's what the royal commission's getting at, though. Because then it's the same thing with approved product lists on the wealth side. Or they have these large panels. They then have internal incentives, whether done on the golf course or whether done more formally to push that product.

Phil Tarrant: You're thinking about two decades ago, mate. Things are very different in mortgage broking than what it was in the '90s.

Aleks Vickovich:       Well, why then, why did the Commonwealth Bank buy Aussie Home Loans? What is the upside? Where's the-

Annie Kane:  Because 55% of people are going to a broker for home loans.

Aleks Vickovich:       Sure.

Annie Kane:  So they're actually just hedging their bets. They're saying if they're not coming direct, and CBA has been pretty like adamant saying that, you know, we're focusing on direct, we don't necessarily want to focus on a third party. So instead, I think what they've done is just buy a third party organisation so that they still have that market share.

Aleks Vickovich:       I think they bought it so they can flog Commonwealth Bank loans. And yet they keep this false brand alive. They pay John Symond.

Phil Tarrant: You're starting to sound like a cynical journalist.

Annie Kane:  Very cynical.

Aleks Vickovich:       They pay John Symond to come on as an actor.

Phil Tarrant: Come on. Okay, I'll tell you this. Answer me this then, Aleks. You're an intelligent chap. And we've said that the broker market share has grown from 32% to 54% in a decade or so, right?

Aleks Vickovich:       Sure.

Phil Tarrant: We've spoken about the need for competition. We've spoken about, and this is something which has changed rapidly, is that the information available to people today is very different than what it was even 10 years ago. So customers are more empowered now to make the decisions they want to make for their best interests.

Aleks Vickovich:       Sure.

Phil Tarrant: How do you justify the growth in mortgage broking within the Australian market?

Aleks Vickovich:       Look, I think-

Phil Tarrant: Why has it grown so quickly?

Aleks Vickovich:       Yeah, I'm not anti-mortgage broker. I think there's value there and I think that insofar as they can get you a better loan deal, you know, they're, you know, creating value for the consumer and helping competition, which is great. But that doesn't change the fact that there's an inherent conflict and that people couldn't be easily motivated by the rate of commission.

            I think if people are going to go see Phil Tarrant's mortgages, Phil Tarrant's advice, some sort of separately branded business, they want that person to be acting on their behalf. And-

Phil Tarrant: So you think the banks aren't conflicted then by monopolised mortgage lending direct, you know?

Aleks Vickovich:       Well, the banks are the ones who create that system, the banks are the ones who create that system. There's plenty of people who won't play ball. But the banks go out and buy these things and white label them and badge them separately for a reason. And I think that's part of what the royal commission will look at.

Phil Tarrant: Maybe. What's your view, Annie?

Annie Kane:  I'm not sure about that.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Annie Kane:  Obviously I'm going to take a different stance as, yeah, head of amagazine for the broker.

Phil Tarrant: Good. Fly the flag for brokers. They're important.

Annie Kane:  Yeah. But I do feel like the Productivity Commission and the royal commission obviously, as we were talking about, are two very separate things. I think the Productivity Commission, because it's looking at competition, will obviously suggest some things that will try and shake up the way that the industry is working. And in the draught report, the recommendation they've already put out for consultation, are things like potentially what is the ... I think they phrased it as what is the value of remuneration currently for brokers? It's something along those lines.

            And they're looking at should there be a fee-for-service? I'm pretty sure they're going to have a lot of kickback on that.

Aleks Vickovich:       Sure.

Annie Kane:  And I think, really, at the end of the day it won't come out as a recommendation from them. We've had the ASIC review into remuneration which found there were no fundamental flaws with the way that brokers are remunerated. Just some changes to soft dollar benefits, which have pretty much already gone anyway.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Annie Kane:  So I think that already we've had this work done and they shouldn't really be going over old ground that's already been reviewed by the regulator and has already been found to be sound. So I think it's just looking at it from a productivity point of view and a competition point of view, rather than a misconduct point of view which I think we need to highlight.

Phil Tarrant: I completely agree with you. I think it would be a shock to the system for lenders if they had to go and start opening up a bank branch in every single suburb of Australia again. They're shutting branches all over the joint, right? Because it's just not economical anymore. People like to get their financial products differently today.

            And I agree with you, Aleks, in terms of the need for mitigating any potential conflict between the delivery of products and the delivery of advice. And I think and I hope that our learned colleagues undertaking the commission, and also the commission, also the royal commission, can look at these things from both sides of the fence without it being dominated or manipulated by any particular party.

Aleks Vickovich:       Well, I think that's the point of the royal commission, is that certainly, and you and I were talking before the show, you know, I think most people who watched the opening session would have a fairly positive view of Kenneth Hayne in terms of he was very legalistic. This is not someone ... I mean, the reason you get a former High Court judge to run the commission and to have this separate process is because they're the only people who aren't going to be beholden to politics or lobbying or cash in some way.

            Whereas both sides of government, or both sides of politics, are tied structurally to various parts of the financial system. You know, there's all these murky, you know, lobbying arrangements and so on. Kenneth Hayne's not going to be interested in any of that. He's only going to be interested in what the law says and in trying to achieve justice. So I think that's a good thing in terms of what you're saying.

Phil Tarrant: I think it's a very good appointment. And from what I've seen so far, he looks like the right man for the job.

Annie Kane:  Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: So we'll watch this and I know you guys will report on it for our listeners. We got a little bit industry-specific there. And obviously you'll see differences of opinions both within Momentum Media and also externally as well. Aleks Vickovich, who is the managing editor of our wealth products, he steers those particular platforms. And that's very much around the delivery of financial advice and wealth creation.

            Often we've spoken about it in the past, when you've been on the show, a lot of financial advisers and planners don't touch property. And we've gone through that in the past.

Aleks Vickovich:       Or can't, yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Or can't. Whereas Annie firmly works in the space of Australia's third party mortgage industry. And as we've said, it's a backbone for obviously a lot of our major financial institutions. They generate the majority, or a lot of their profitability, within lenders and banks from their mortgage books. So, you know, it's a balancing act. Banks want to lend money but banks obviously need to work within the rules and regulations as stipulated by our peak regulatory bodies, ASIC, APRA, et cetera.

            So we'll keep looking at it. But I think the message is clear for property investors. And even if you're an owner-occupier person that listens to this. But for property investors, keep an eye on this space. Keep involved, keep connected, know what's going on. Ask the questions. Challenge your lender, challenge your bank. And if you listened to our last podcast where we did our portfolio update, you would have heard my story about going through a review of our portfolio with our mortgage broker, who does a very good job. One of the 54% of people in Australia that use a mortgage broker. 55. They change all the time, don't they? It's going up at least.

Annie Kane:  Yeah. Ever increasing. 70%.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah. It goes up. In England though, just the size is about 70 something?

Annie Kane:  Yeah. 72, I think.

Phil Tarrant: 72%

Annie Kane:  Yeah.

Aleks Vickovich:       Yeah, right.

Phil Tarrant: But in England they don't get trail commissions. They only get upfront commissions, mortgage brokers.

Annie Kane:  No, it's peculiar to Australia.

Phil Tarrant: It is, it is. So you get your mortgage broker to work for you is what I'd be saying. Or even if you go direct to a bank, check your mortgages. Make sure you're getting the most competitive rates. But keep an eye on what's going on and you need to understand that there's things in the world that you can control, and that's how you choose to invest in property. You can't control what's going to happen with the royal commission and what gets mandated. What's going to happen with this anyway, Aleks? Is anyone going to get thrown in the jail or-

Aleks Vickovich:       It has happened in the past, so we'll see. Although, you know, they're pretty powerful these guys and they've got pretty well paid lawyers. So we've got 12 months to see what's going to happen, or 10 months.

Annie Kane:  Yeah.

Aleks Vickovich:       You know, we'll be following it daily and if somebody goes to jail, you're sure to read about that in our publications, I can tell you.

Annie Kane:  Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: So if we check in again sort of, you know, six weeks time, eight weeks time, what do you think we'll be chatting about with the royal commission?

Annie Kane:  Well, we would have had our hearings.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah.

Annie Kane:  The first of which is about home lending. So I'll be talking about that for sure for the next few weeks.

Phil Tarrant: Okay.

Annie Kane:  So that starts in about a month's time.

Phil Tarrant: Okay. And what about your side of the fence?

Aleks Vickovich:       Oh, I'll probably just read what Annie's written and then I'll come in and give an alternative opinion.

Annie Kane:  Yeah.

Phil Tarrant: Copying it or ...

Aleks Vickovich:       It's good journalism.

Phil Tarrant: That's why need-

Annie Kane:  I'll bring my boxing gloves.

Aleks Vickovich:       Well, you know, at least if it's one of our publications I know it's a trustworthy source.

Phil Tarrant: Well, there you go. And for our listeners, journalism is alive and well. You know, there's a lot of crap out there and if you're a big user of social media you're going to get stuff pushed down your throats when it comes to recommendations and advice around how you should be sort of obtaining debt. Use trusted sources, including the Smart Property Investment Show. We have no agenda here except for delivering information. Is that right, Aleks?

Aleks Vickovich:       Sounds good to me.

Phil Tarrant: We're all journos. That's what we do. But really enjoyed it. Thanks, guys.

Annie Kane:  Thank you, Phil.

Phil Tarrant: Do you think there's anything we need to cover off for our listeners? Or reckon that's enough? All good?

Aleks Vickovich:       I reckon they've got plenty to go off.

Phil Tarrant: Yeah?

Annie Kane:  We could be here all day, otherwise.

Phil Tarrant: We could do. All right. Nice. Well, I hope you enjoyed that, guys. Any questions for myself or for Annie and Aleks, you can email the team and we'll have a chat about it and get back to you. [email protected] If you like to get your info via social media, just search Smart Property HQ. You'll work out what we're doing.

            But if you're not yet subscribing to the Smart Property Investment morning newsletter, Market Intelligence, so you're the first to know what's going on in property investment, smartpropertyinvestment.com.au/subscribe. And if you like what we're doing, please keep those five star reviews coming on iTunes or wherever you're listening to this particular podcast. It's more than just me and our talented journalists here at Momentum Media and Smart Property Investment doing this stuff. We have a big team behind the scenes who are crafting this stuff and getting out to the marketplace.

            So please leave a review. The guys there like it and obviously we want to get the Smart Property Investment Show out to as many in this community as possible. We'll be back again next time. Until then, bye bye.

Announcer:    The information featured in this podcast is general in nature and does not take into consideration your financial situation or individual needs, and should not be relied upon. Before making any investment, insurance, tax, property or financial planning decision, you should consult a licenced professional who can advise whether your decision is appropriate for you. Guests appearing on this podcast may have a commercial relationship with the companies mentioned.

 

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object(stdClass)#1250 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
  string(5) "18177"
  ["title"]=>
  string(51) "Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(55) "boost-for-investors-as-new-app-sets-up-off-site-bidding"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(144) "

Property investors are now able to identify and bid on auctions remotely using a new live-streaming functionality launched by Gavl.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(1540) "

Called “Request an Auction”, the new functionality enables users to watch and bid on any Sydney or Melbourne auction remotely.

Through Gavl, prospective buyers are now able to register to bid on their preferred auction. The platform will obtain permission from the listing agent and confirm within 48 hours.

Vendors can also request to have their auctions broadcast to a larger buyer audience.

Co-founder Joel Smith said that auctions streamed on Gavl attract 47 per cent more viewers than traditional ones.

He said that Request an Auction will be valuable for remote buyers.

“Buyers are able to have Gavl attend any auction they nominate, so they will never have to miss out on an opportunity due to logistical complications in physically attending the auction.

“Vendors, too, have the opportunity to directly book an auction with us, so they can open up their event to buyers all around the world. With more potential buyers, they’re giving their property the chance to receive more bids and maximise their sales result.”

Mr Smith said that prior to the Request an Auction app, buyers were limited to what they could achieve through the Gavl technology.

Gavl is a live-streaming and bidding platform for real estate auctions.

Mr Smith said that it has streamed more than 6,000 auctions, which have achieved 3.5 million views from 50 countries.

Gavl’s Request an Auction function is currently being offered in Melbourne and Sydney only.

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Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding
object(stdClass)#1227 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
  string(5) "18171"
  ["title"]=>
  string(68) "How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals"
  ["alias"]=>
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  ["introtext"]=>
  string(278) "

Having to split her time between Hong Kong and her original base of Sydney has not slowed Julia Tita’s goal of building a high-performance Australian property portfolio. Instead the resulting alterations to her strategy have positively impacted her investing success.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(3579) "

Having recently purchased her 6th property, Julia joins host Tim Neary to discuss her journey, share her ups and downs over the years, and reveal her thoughts on why some properties are better than others.

Julia also explains why she no longer makes a move without the help of a buyer’s agent, why working with a strong team of specialists is extremely important and discloses her long-term property ambitions.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

Why is Australian property so unaffordable?
Brisbane infrastructure attracts international interest
Going global
Australia desirable to foreign investors

AREAS MENTIONED:

Eagleby
Charters Towers
Townsville
Brisbane
Paddington
Sydney
Orange
Melbourne 
Glen Iris
Bondi

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["secure"]=> int(0) ["page_description"]=> string(11) "sample desc" ["page_rights"]=> NULL ["robots"]=> NULL ["access-view"]=> bool(true) } ["initialized":protected]=> bool(true) ["separator"]=> string(1) "." } ["displayDate"]=> string(19) "2018-06-18 03:15:56" ["slug"]=> string(72) "18171:how-a-move-to-hong-kong-impacted-julia-s-australian-property-goals" ["catslug"]=> string(28) "45:smart-property-investment" ["link"]=> string(92) "/investor-stories-1/18171-how-a-move-to-hong-kong-impacted-julia-s-australian-property-goals" }
How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals
object(stdClass)#1214 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
  string(5) "18159"
  ["title"]=>
  string(88) "‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(82) "common-referrer-practice-of-being-paid-on-both-sides-of-the-fence-coming-to-an-end"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(246) "

The practice of property investment firms sharing undisclosed kickbacks among the supply chain involved in development sales will be outlawed in NSW on 1 July this year under the Real Estate Reform being handed down by regulators in NSW.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2238) "

Property commentator and valuer, Suburbanite’s Anna Porter, said the reform will address conflicts of interest.

She said they arise when a mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner receives part of the commission from the property firm, who receive their fees from the developer or seller.

“This puts the broker into a position by which they are being paid on both sides of the fence,” she said.

“Until now this has been a grey area and there was nothing stopping this practice.” 

Ms Porter said this has been a common practice in the industry.

"Some well-known mortgage broking firms openly admit to receiving $5,000–$10,000 per referral in their pocket.”

She also said this process has been going on for decades.

"Property investment firms commonly pass some of their commission on to the mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner as a reward to them for passing on the referral. This means that many brokers or financial service providers are making significant amounts of money just to refer on to a property firm, often totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars a year," Anna Porter said.

Ms Porter said the Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017 will be in force from July this year, and will prohibit this practice unless the broker or referring partner also holds a real estate industry license.

"Under the new laws, if the broker takes a referral fee from the property firm, they will have to be a licensed real estate agent and also hold a corporation’s license,” she said. 

“Subsequently, every transaction that they receive a referral fee from, they will be putting their license up against the transaction and taking full liability for the conduct, practices and outcome of that transaction, even if they have little to do with the transaction; they are a party to it financially and therefore take as much risk as everyone else in the transaction.”

Mr Porter said where a referrer holds a real estate license, and receives a part of the sale commission, they may find themselves in breach of the ethical requirements under the act.

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‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end

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