Steve Wormald, Compliance Manager for Vow, has been conducting compliance workshops across the country. His popular course has recently been refreshed with new content and is getting positive feedback from participants. Here, we ask him a few questions about what's changing in the industry.
What issues in your workshops have been getting the most feedback?
The amount of data now available on individual brokers is a real eye-opener for many. For example, it's clear when brokers are working out loan amounts by simply mirroring the Household Expenditure Level (see below). They hadn't realised that what they do is so visible to ASIC, funders and Vow.
Image: Example of broker applications being based on HEM.
What are the aspects that people are keen to implement in their business?
A big focus is on broker protections - how you can use processes to protect yourself from fraud and the dishonesty of clients. For example, learning how to use Veda checks and income verification processes and knowing how to spot and the various tricks these fraudsters use is crucial.
What have been the biggest changes to compliance in recent years?
The reviews by ASIC over last two years have focused more on individual brokers' behaviour than in the past. You can't get away with cutting corners these days, as there is so much data and so many processes to ensure it gets picked up.
Are audits something we should all be afraid of?
People get nervous about passing their audits, but we've developed a lot of materials to help them prepare for the process, and the checklists and documents are very popular. The key to remember is that we want you to pass, and will give you as much guidance and support as possible to make sure you can.
Any final thoughts?
A compliance workshop is a three-hour investment of time and supporting materials - but brokers tell us it's well the worth the investment, because they see what is going on in the industry and what they can do to succeed.