Mortgage Professionals Canada is actively involved with provincial regulators on issues such as regulation, education, disclosure, licensing and more. With member input, we provide consultation and advice on legislative matters; report on discussion papers and maintains engaging dialogue to ensure the interests of our members are represented. Provincial regulators also frequently speak at our regional symposiums providing updates and information to members across the country.
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Mortgage Professionals Canada Welcomes BC Government's Initiative to Help First-time Homebuyers TORONTO (December 8, 2016)
Mortgage Professionals Canada said today it strongly supports British Columbia Premier Christy Clark’s decision to offer first-time homebuyers interest-free loans for their down payment. This timely support is extremely important given the recent changes that the federal government has made to mortgage insurance and eligibility, which will disproportionally impact people buying their first home. It is a recognition that the Premier understands the importance that first-time homebuyers play in the marketplace and the positive impact they have on the economy.
“This single action by the Clark government will ensure that tens of thousands of middle-class British Columbians will be able to move from renters to homeowners,” said Paul Taylor, President of Mortgage Professionals Canada. “It also means that BC will be able to create more jobs through increased housing activity which will support economic growth for all British Columbians.”
The targeted approach that the government has taken to ensure that this support goes to middle and low-income first-time homebuyers is the right way to support middle-class growth in the province. Mortgage Professionals Canada is pleased that the government is listening to the concerns of our members regarding housing affordability in the province.
Mortgage Professionals Canada is the national voice of the mortgage industry, an association whose members include mortgage brokers, mortgage lenders, mortgage insurers and industry service providers. Mortgage Professionals Canada has approximately 11,500 individual members across Canada including more than 1,500 members in British Columbia.
FICOM Releases Final Borrower Disclosure Guidelines (November 8, 2016)
Are you meeting with MLAs or representatives from the BC Government? We have created a document to help facilitate your discussion – click here to download.
The Financial Institutions Commission of British Columbia (FICOM) released its Mortgage Broker Conflict of Interest Disclosure Guidelines. The document is available on FICOM's website, along with an open letter to the industry from acting Registrar, Chris Carter.
Paul Taylor, President and CEO, released the following statement:
“We are very disappointed with this announcement. We have been working diligently with FICOM to ensure their goal of increased transparency could be met, without negatively impacting the mortgage broker channel. It is unfortunate the BC regulator chose to ignore our legitimate concerns over the serious burden these requirements will place on the industry, our members and Canadian mortgage consumers.
We repeatedly expressed our view of fully supporting the provision of information that assists borrowers in making better decisions. We do not however support the provision of information that leads to misunderstanding and confusion which will now be the case as a result of having to disclose exact value of compensation to consumers. Our recommendations would have resulted in more meaningful borrower disclosure in BC.
We are worried that this announcement will leave British Columbians with less choice, reduced competition and higher costs when obtaining a mortgage, especially in light of the recent federal government changes to mortgage insurance and eligibility.
We will continue to explore all our options to combat this unnecessarily burdensome decision, including revisiting the issue with BC’s Ministry of Finance.”
ACTION TO DATE
Regulator and Government Advocacy Efforts
Manitoba Securities Commission (April 20, 2016)
Our Manitoba Chapter members requested that we approach the Manitoba Securities Commission (MSC) regarding several concerns and requests for clarifications. In response, we addressed a letter to Terry Kirkham, MSC Registrar, requesting a meeting to discuss the issues further.
The issues raised include: the appropriate use of URLs, real estate brokers permitted to act as mortgage brokers, disclosure, co-brokering and pooling, commitment or retainer fees, electronic signatures, and a request for an education day to assist with broker compliance. We have had numerous discussions with Terry Kirkham specific to these requests, and are pleased to report that the MSC has clarified it will not sanction specific URL uses. They have clarified, however, that the responsibility to ensure that a sub-agent or broker's marketing or advertising campaign must be compliant with all regulations, and that responsibility lies with the principal broker of an organization.
Ontario Liberals Announce New Housing Measures
On April 20, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a comprehensive package of housing reforms, ahead of next week's provincial budget aimed at cooling the GTA housing market. The release can be found here. The announcement follows extensive media coverage about the serious concerns with the over-heating markets.
Mortgage Professionals Canada has been engaged with the Ontario government and many MPPs through our lobbying activities and our recent Queen’s Park Advocacy Day. We are pleased to see measures that will increase supply, improve data collection and curb speculation within the market place, which we have been asking the government to do.
However, we are disappointed that there is no additional support for first-time buyers in this package, and we suggest caution that a foreign buyer tax will not have the desired impact that the government seeks.
We will be studying the comprehensive package of measures in greater detail over the coming days and will continue to engage with the government to ensure the interests of our members are heard at Queen’s Park.
What was announced:
Brokers, Insurers and Lenders Convene to Inform Government on Impact of Rule Changes
(March 28, 2017)
We were pleased to hold our inaugural provincial Advocacy Day at Queen’s Park on March 28. Click here to watch our video.
Over the course of the day, staff and industry volunteers held over 30 meetings with members of parliament and senior officials to discuss the negative effects the federal government's mortgage rule changes will have on the local economy.
Building on the success of our Parliament Hill Advocacy Days in Ottawa in early March, the Queen’s Park Day provided the opportunity to heighten awareness of the importance of our industry and our significant economic impact in the province. Our overarching goal was to discuss the issues of housing affordability and availability as well as the negative impacts the changes are having on first-time buyers. We were also pleased to host an exclusive reception during which our members had the opportunity to mingle with MPPs in an informal setting.
Our underlying recommendation is to implement reasonable modifications to alleviate the negative impact on Canada’s middle class and to avoid implementing any additional changes.
There is still work to be done and we remain committed to continuing our dialogue with government officials on behalf of our members.
Mortgage Professionals Canada Applauds Ontario Government’s Efforts to Support First-time Homebuyers
(November 14, 2016)
Today, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced the government is doubling the first-time homebuyers land transfer tax rebate from $2,000 to $4,000 effective January 1, 2017. The province is also proposing to restrict eligibility to Canadian citizens and permanent residents and updating the land transfer tax rates and brackets, effective January 1, 2017.
Paul Taylor released the following statement:
“Mortgage Professionals Canada applauds Minister Sousa for recognizing that more efforts need to be taken to support first-time homebuyers. This is an important measure to help younger Canadians get into the housing market, especially in light of the recent federal changes to mortgage insurance and eligibility that will disproportionately impact first-time buyers. We look forward to working with Minister Sousa on further ways to make homeownership more affordable and accessible for Ontarians.”
For more details – click here
FSCO Mandate Review Report (July 7, 2016)
The Ministry of Finance commissioned an independent panel to review the mandates of FSCO, DICO and the FST in 2015. The report makes a number of recommendations, but likely most importantly, it suggests combining the responsibilities of FSCO and DICO, and in their place create a new Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA). The report also makes some recommendations regarding syndicated mortgages and potential oversight of this activity by the Ontario Securities Commission. View Full Report.
View Mortgage Professionals Canada’s Letter of Response.
FSCO Statement of Priorities for 2016 (May 31, 2016)
FSCO’s annual Statement of Priorities Report for 2016, can be found here. The report is brief this year with little content related to the mortgage broker channel. Our response is similarly fairly brief.