Brokers for Change (B4C), a new loan brokerage service that provides support to the homeless, has been launched today.
Powered by Loan Market, financial experts with over 23 years industry experience, each loan taken out with B4C Brokers will result in 20% of the banks commission (usually paid to brokers) being redirected to StreetSmart, a charity to help the homeless. Clients pay nothing to use the service.
B4C was created by Stephen O’Reilly-Nugent, a financial loan expert with Loan Market, who has worked as a mortgage broker for almost 20 years. Having helped many Australians arrange finance to purchase their own homes, Mr O’Reilly Nugent had the idea to use his business to help Australians who have no home at all.
“With an estimated 450,000 loans taken out in Australia every year, just a small donation from each would have the power to make a real difference. Added to that, the growing market share of brokers over banks means that B4C will be well placed to make a difference,” Mr O’Reilly-Nugent said.
According to the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia , mortgage brokers settled $51.77 billion or 55.7% of all residential home loans in the September quarter 2017, up from 53.6% in the same quarter last year.
The broker sector also outweighed the traditional lenders in customer satisfaction with 32% of broker customers ranking their broker nine or 10 out of 10 compared to 20% for customers who went direct to lender.
Homelessness – a growing issue.
The latest census by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed the number of homeless people in Australia jumped by more than 14,000 from 2011 to 2016. On census night, over 116,000 people were homeless in Australia, representing 50 people for every 10,000.
“Along with our charity partner, StreetSmart, I believe that everyone should have a safe and secure place to call home, and that ending homelessness will take a ‘whole of community’ approach,” Mr O’Reilly-Nugent said. “I’m pleased to have StreetSmart as our sole charity, given their multi-faceted approach to the complex issue of homelessness in Australia.”
Adam Robinson, CEO of StreetSmart said they “are proud to be recognised as a charity partner within the business community,” and see this as ” an important step towards ending homelessness.”
B4C will primarily operate as an online system to match customers to B4C Brokers and loan products. The website which goes live today is www.b4c.com.au.
The B4C platform will operate via the Loan Market panel of lenders, with the key difference in brands being that B4C Brokers will have committed to donate 20% of their commission (paid by lenders). B4C Brokers will have access to a panel of 35+ lenders across Australia and New Zealand.
Royal Commission Interim Report
In regards to the recent media coverage regarding the Royal Commission Interim Report, O’Reilly-Nugent said “as far as brokers are concerned, it’s business as usual. We expect some of the recommendations to be implemented and I am almost certain we will see change. The changes will be phased in over the next couple of years.
“Regarding a fee for service, this would be a whole of industry approach and nothing but a slap in the face to all hard working Australians. The only winners in the Fee for Service model will be the big banks who could or possibly would charge whatever they liked until such a time the consumer has to refinance and they get slapped with another multi- thousand dollar up-front fee.
“No politician who values their career is going to throw that grenade in amongst the Australian Community.”