“We’ve been focusing on processes and simplifying,” David Williamson, CIBC senior executive vice president, said during the bank’s recent quarterly profit call. Also CIBC is investing in “mobile mortgage advisers, which were changing to mobile advisers generally, so (they will) not just focus on mortgages.”
CIBC’s shift to having its mortgage specialists become more generalist could see commissions, and so earnings, broadened and supported by other revenue streams.
Ostensibly that could create greater income security for those brokers prepared to head back to the bank.
But industry players may view this initiative as a play to earn a larger share of clients’ wallet, rather than an increased focus on holistic financial advice.
“I think it’s the bank acknowledging (the mortgage specialists) aren’t doing a good enough job handing the client off to the branch,” Steve D’Souza, a broker with Client First Mortgage Solutions, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “It’s a way for the bank to push more lines of business and sell more products.”
And while the model may up the utility of mortgage specialists, not all brokers see it as an incentive to make the move to the banks anytime soon.
“Newer brokers may be enticed to make the move but I don’t see high producing brokers deciding to go to the banks,” D’Souza said.
One major bank is working on a strategy that will see mobile advisors provide more than just mortgage advice – should brokers be worried that their competitive advantage is disappearing?