Clawbacks, commissions discussed at FBAA conference

Broker clawbacks, net-of-offset commissions and engagement with the new Labor government were among the hot topics at the FBAA’s 2022 national industry conference on the Gold Coast last week.

Almost 700 brokers attended the peak broker body’s event held at SeaWorld on Friday.

FBAA managing director Peter White (pictured above) said the program included an excellent line-up of engaging speakers, including  youth advocate, counsellor and motivational speaker Jules Allen, who spoke about resilience, and federal assistant treasurer and minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones.

Jones, in a pre-recorded speech, raised the prospect that the government might review clawbacks if it was found that the money being clawed back from brokers was greater than the cost for the bank to set up the loan.

“Before being elected, the minister promised he would continue the clawback conversation and he is doing just that,” White said. “There is a high level of engagement from the FBAA about clawbacks, because believe me, I have been hounding him.”

Read more: Net of offset commissions hurting brokers, says FBAA

In his year in review speech at the conference, White said he was eager to investigate whether banks were profiteering through broker clawbacks.

“There is a whole lot of things going on in the background that we will bring to the table and document to get forensic accounts involved as we see it,” he said.

“I am also looking forward to speaking with the attorney-general about net of offset accounts, because we believe there is a challenge with certain laws sitting around the services. Add to that lender cashback offers, which I believe need a greater focus from government.”

In an FBAA conference first, 2022 was set up as a “silent conference” – attendees wore noise-cancelling headphones and could select which speaker or workshop they wanted to listen to or take part in. If an attendee changed his or her mind and wanted to listen to another speaker or workshop, they could easily do so with ease and minimal distraction, White said.

“This format enabled the FBAA to have three screens close together all running at the same time without interference from one another,” White said.

“It was really innovative and I think people were impressed that this year’s conference was co-ordinated. People could walk around the exhibition area and still hear the speaker in their headphones, which created great engagement amongst our attendees and it was something different.”

Read more: FBAA holds first face-to-face national conference in over two years

White said the evening gala dinner and awards of supremacy held after the conference always provided  a great night.

“This year our gala dinner theme was ‘ocean of odyssey’ and everybody looked fantastic,” he said. “It was a great night had by everybody.”

White (pictured below) dressed up as King Neptune, the god of the sea, in keeping with the ocean odyssey theme.

White said the 2022 conference was considered a reset after the last three years of disruptions.

“We spoke about the FBAA’s engagement around what we are doing government-wise, which I know was on everybody’s mind. Seeing the positive support from the Labor government by doing the things they said they would do and progressing is providing a lot of comfort to our industry,” he said.

“We invited our stylist Joshua Heath back, who is always incredibly entertaining, to provide advice to our attendees about how they need to undress from their COVID-19 tracksuits and dress for business post-pandemic.”