Macquarie backs ‘important’ role for mortgage brokers

«So today mortgage brokers do provide a valuable service, we presume, to customers just by the fact that they are predominantly used by the customers,” Ms Wikramanayake said.

“We think they do provide competition and they do provide a service and it’s important that [we] try to continue [this].

“The way they are remunerated may have to change, how they engage with their customers may have to change, but I think the service they provide seems to be valuable to customers, so ultimately will have to persist.”

Ms Wikramanayake made the comments after an operational briefing, at which she reaffirmed guidance for a lift in profit of up to 15 per cent  from last year’s  $2.56 billion, suggesting it is on track for a profit of up to $2.94 billion for its current financial year, which ends in March.

The bank also updated the market on regulatory matters, including a German probe into an alleged tax fraud scandal. Ms Wikramanayake said authorities in Germany had formally classified 22 former and current bank employees as «persons of interest or suspects», including herself and predecessor Nicholas Moore.

This had been expected, and was flagged by the bank in September, when it said staff were likely to be classified as «persons of interest or suspects» under German law in order to be interviewed.


Ms Wikramanayake also said the bank was «closely monitoring» the implementation of the Hayne royal commission’s recommendations.

“Royal commissions are always valuable processes for any industry, to have a rigorous review, and our view is we’re open to learning from and changing in relation to whatever comes out,»  she said.

Macqaurie’s market presentation highlighted the opportunities it was pursuing in industries including renewable energy, real estate, conventional industry, and infrastructure, in various markets around around the world.

Ms Wikramanayake said the idea behind its diverse range of businesses, which span areas including funds management, investment banking, and lending, was that earnings would be less volatile.

Shares in Macquarie Group, which have risen 23 per cent in the last year as it has enjoyed strong demand for investment in infrastructure and renewable energy, gained 2.15 per cent to $124.60.



Clancy Yeates is a business reporter.

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