Alberta is ready to examine proposed changes to its broker regulations, and one proposal that is expected to meet resistance from the banking community is the question: What constitutes an individual broker?
“There were some concerns raised by brokers as to what defines a mortgage broker and a mortgage banking specialist?” says Gary Siegle, a broker with VP Prairies at Invis/MI and chair of the Real Estate Council of Alberta’s Mortgage Broker Advisory Committee. “Currently the lines are blurred, and we feel that the brokers who represent private lenders should be regulated by the Alberta Securities Commission too. Obviously there will be resistance from the banks on this, but you want the public to know what the difference is, and to understand what a mortgage specialist is.”
Alberta began the review of its mortgage regulations a year ago, and has just wrapped up the consultation process, with the aim of presenting to the legislature by 2014. Ontario announced it was launching a review of its Mortgage Brokers Act with the appointment of parliamentary assistant Steven Del Duca. British Columbia is just now reviewing proposed changes to its Act with the Securities Commission.
“Alberta did that three years ago,” Siegle told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “When we started, it was to remove a lot of the duplication and contradictions in regards the regulation of syndicated mortgages, as it related to the Real Estate Act. There was no sense in having dual regulations – security commissions across Canada are trying to harmonize the regulations, and now Ontario is looking at it.”
Alberta has made three major proposed changes: taking the regulation of syndicated mortgages out of the Real Estate Act; regulating mortgage broker who deal with private lenders under RECA; and applying regulations on mortgage brokering activity to banks and similar institutions currently exempt from the Act.
“By definition, lenders who deal in mortgage products that are from other institutions…that is mortgage brokering activity,” Siegle points out.