Bank poll supports broker interest in Alberta

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Albertans remained the most positive about their financial fitness heading into 2011, suggests a new CIBC poll, indicating the province will continue to attract the attention of B.C. and Ontario mortgage brokers looking for opportunities outside of their home markets.


While the national average for “Canadians feeling positive about their current financial situation today” is 64 per cent, suggests the survey of more than 2,000 people last November, some 72 per cent of Albertan respondents expressed the same confidence. That figure was considerably lower for B.C., where only 54 per cent said they were happy with their current financial situation.


The assessment for Ontarians was 66 per cent – off  six points from the Alberta figure.

Those differing outlooks likely reflect the increasing economic activity associated with Alberta’s expanding oil industry and its employment boom.

That optimism may also be reflected in the growing divide between underwriting practices in Alberta and those in B.C. and Ontario.

While the average mortgage LTV in Ontario remained at 50 per cent for TD, it climbed to 57 for Alberta. The B.C. average, in fact, held steady at 48 per cent, with the other provinces recording a modest one percentage point climb, year over year.

Those differences haven’t been lost on brokers outside of Alberta as they continue their push into the province.

Just over 100 Ontario brokers already asked FSCO to prepare the necessary paperwork to present to regulators in Alberta, a representative of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario told

That number dwarfs that for Ontario brokers looking for the same certification letters to present to industry regulators in B.C. Less than five mortgage professionals have made that request.

Broker-saturated B.C. isn’t the only market being snubbed by brokers looking to grow their books by expanding into new markets. Ontario, itself considered a province over-populated with mortgage professionals, has attracted only about seven applications from brokers in other provinces since recent changes to the Agreement on Internal Trade kicked in July 1.

Those amendments governing the way provinces trade and deal with each other have made it easier for individuals already licensed in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba or Québec to win the equivalent licensing in any of those other provinces without in fact having to meet new education and experience requirements.

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