1.2 — Best interests duty

The law should be amended to provide that, when acting in connection with home lending, mortgage brokers must act in the best interests of the intending borrower. The obligation should be a civil penalty provision.

Government Response

The Government agrees to introduce a best interests duty for mortgage brokers to act in the best interests of borrowers.

The best interests duty will not change the responsible lending obligations for broker originated loans, consistent with the Government’s response to Recommendation 1.1 above.

The Government also agrees that a breach of the best interests duty should be subject to a civil penalty.

The Government agrees, following the implementation of the best interests duty, to further align the regulatory frameworks for mortgage brokers and financial advisers.

This also responds to the Productivity Commissions report Competition in the Australian Financial System, which also recommended imposing a best interests duty on mortgage brokers and a review of the feasibility of enabling financial advisers to also act as mortgage brokers.