George Karam: it’s time for a qualification in commercial finance

Leading commercial broker explains why CAFBA has introduced a new and more specialised Certificate IV

CAFBA is particularly focussed on education in commercial finance, to not only professionalise the industry but as a way of attracting the right new entrants.

Whilst the current minimum educational requirement is a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking, this certificate is consumer finance focussed, and CAFBA saw the need for a curriculum to train new entrants in commercial finance. Expanded educational offerings can attract a new generation of brokers who are attracted to a profession that offers a credential and a structured career path. As the first generation of brokers exit the industry, CAFBA is preparing to handover leadership of the profession to a new cohort of brokers.

CAFBA has therefore developed a new curriculum, which is a Certificate IV in Financial Services: Commercial and Asset Finance. It is expected that this new curriculum will go live this month. It is an extensive course that will train the new broker in all facets of commercial finance. Mid-year CAFBA expects to launch the more advanced Diploma in Financial Services: Commercial and Asset Finance which concentrates on a more in-depth analysis.

This is an exciting development as there is no other course available in the market as comprehensive or focussed on the practical aspects of commercial finance.  And, following the ASIC and APRA reviews last year and the Royal Commission that’s just been called, the CAFBA focus on education and professionalism is the right way forward for us as an industry.

Brokers and brokerage firms come in all forms and sizes; Home loan brokers, business finance brokers, commercial mortgage brokers, asset finance brokers, development finance brokers etc etc.  There are sole traders, partnerships, sub aggregators, referral based models, retail models, wholesale models, credit representatives, credit licence holders and everything in between.

The difficulty for policy makers is to distinguish one type of broker from another, however, the most sensible distinction is to look at their end customer – is it a consumer or is it a business? This distinction is important as lending to businesses provides a completely different set of circumstances than lending to a consumer.

CAFBA will ensure the unique interests and concerns of commercial finance brokers are represented.  We are at a time in the growth of our industry where we can shape it and ensure its longevity and professional standing.  CAFBA have outlined a blueprint for the future and I for one, will be supporting it.  I call on all commercial finance brokers to get behind it and participate.