Bank to create more-powerful road reps

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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?

“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 “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.
  • Barry Patchett on 2015-09-25 9:38:36 AM

    They better be licensed for anything they sell! Not like now.

  • maurice elgersma on 2015-09-25 10:04:24 AM

    These advisors are really not much of a threat to brokers. Think about it. the good ones will become recruited and become brokers if they are good at all.

  • Dustan Woodhouse on 2015-09-25 10:11:02 AM

    Diluting focus creates weakness. Personally I prefer to work with specialists whenever possible. Generalists rarely provide higher quality advice, and rarely earn a better living.

    Look at medicine or law...or finance. The highest levels of performance are achieved by specialists in a narrow niche.

    Avoid distractions. Focus.

  • Ron Butler on 2015-09-25 11:25:30 AM

    They could sell checking accounts, GICs, credit cards, Helocs and PLOCs, mortgage creditor insurance. They could sell quite a bit of stuff without any separate licensing.

  • Walid Hammami on 2015-09-25 11:28:09 PM

    Just to remind everybody that this is not new.

    Manulife has been doing it for a long time.

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