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Commercial and asset finance broking could become recognised professions

By Annie Kane
24 March 2022 | 1 minute read

CAFBA is pursuing a Professional Standards Scheme for commercial and asset finance brokers in “one of the most significant reforms in the industry’s history”.

The Commercial & Asset Finance Brokers Association of Australia (CAFBA) has announced that it is pursuing a Professional Standards Scheme for asset and commercial brokers.

The scheme, run by the national regulatory agency, the Professional Standards Authority (PSA), is a legal instrument that binds associations to monitor, enforce and improve the professional standards of their members, and to protect consumers of professional services.

It aims to build consumer trust in the profession by providing assurances that participating members have:

  • Formal professional standards they must uphold
  • A body of professionals to make sure these standards are upheld
  • Insurance or assets available to pay damages awarded by the courts, if necessary

By obtaining a Professional Standards Scheme, the association will also show they are delivering ongoing improvements in professional standards and consumer protection. 

In return for these commitments, Professional Standards Schemes cap the civil liability or damages that professionals who take part in an association’s scheme may be required to pay if a court upholds a claim against them. 

Speaking of the move, CAFBA said that it marks “one of the most significant reforms in the history of commercial broking” and will implement a range of measures to improve professional standards and practices throughout the industry.

These include effective risk management strategies, continuing professional development programs, codes of ethics, and conduct and integrity systems.

The decision was taken by the board to “ensure the continued high-standards of commercial broking, and to maintain the industry’s self-regulating framework in the long-term,” it said. 

CAFBA president Matt Atkin commented: “This is a watershed moment in the history of commercial and asset finance broking.

“CAFBA has long held the view that a self-regulating framework founded upon education ensures the best outcomes for commercial borrowers. 

“The Professional Standards Scheme guarantees a standard of professionalism throughout the industry, and sends a positive message to customers that commercial brokers are committed to upholding a level of excellence in their service.

“This is a tremendous step in the evolution of our industry and we are looking forward to formally introducing our plan to our members at upcoming Professional Development days to explain the process more fully.”

CAFBA director and chair of the association’s regulatory committee, George Karam, added: “As the association of commercial finance brokers it is incumbent on us to set and maintain standards that would be expected of a professional industry.

“Our commitment to further professionalising the industry was reinforced last year in our Strategic Plan, as a result of which, there has been much discussion on professionalism and how this is measured, particularly in the context of self-regulation. 

“The Self-Regulation Committee came to the consensus that the Professional Standards Scheme was the most effective measure we could take.” 

Commercial and asset finance broking could become recognised professions
Matt Atkin reb
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