Is this lender bonus program taking it too far?

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Lenders often offer incentive programs to high-funding brokers – including trips around the world – but is this one example taking it too far?
An Australian-based non-bank lender, Chifley Securities, has announced an incentive program wherein a Rolex watch will be gifted to accredited brokers who lodge and settle $12 million worth of loans through Chifley within a six month period.
Chifley Securities was founded by finance industry veterans Dominic Lambrinos and Domenic and Joe Morello. Lambrinos said they already have two brokers who are almost at the $12 million mark.
“Essentially I wanted to provide a reward that acknowledges a special type of Commercial Broker,” he said.
“Referring and settling an amount of $12 million in six months is no easy task - therefore I wanted to provide a gift that was in itself special.”
On potential conflicts of interest from the client’s perspective, Lambrinos said Chifley Securities believe that the ‘integrity of a commercial broker rests in more fundamental precepts than in the payment of rewards’ and the Rolex watches are simply further incentive on top of the broker’s commission.
According to Lambrinos, its incentives like this that attract brokers to place business with certain lenders and he credits this particular offering with ensuring commercial brokers have their clients’ best interests at heart.
“Borrowers know that they will pay little, if any, amounts upfront and that the commercial broker will be rewarded on the successful completion of the assignment,” he said. “We therefore see the arrangement as the commercial broker being incentivised to complete the transaction on behalf of the borrower, rather than being seen as the commercial being placed in a position of conflict.”
In addition, Chifley Securities advises brokers to disclose their participation in the rewards programme to any clients they may be referring.
Morello said the rewards program is an Australian first.
In addition to the Rolex offer, the lender said brokers who work through Chifley Securities will generate a stronger flow of commissions at an average of 1 per cent and the chance to earn rewards like travel and holidays.
So will it be only a matter of time before Canadian lenders start offering luxury items to their brokers? And if so, how will the industry feel about it?

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