Bid to establish broker-run organization ramps up

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An industry player has ramped up his effort to establish a national broker-run organization in the wake of widespread dissatisfaction with CAAMP’s recent changes to its AMP designation.

“Some key people have responded, veterans in the industry who could make a significant contribution to the effort,” Blair Anderson of MortgageResource.ca told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I think it should grow some legs as long as someone takes the ball and maybe the onus is on me right now to do that.”

Anderson spoke with MortgabeBrokerNews.ca in October and explained the need for a broker-run organization.

“There are a lot of issues around running our broker channel that need representation on a national level,” Anderson said at the time. “I would like to propose the Canadian Mortgage Brokers Association (CMBA), and there needs to be equal representation between regions, and small and large brokerages.”

The idea sprung forth as a result of his own dissatisfaction with CAAMP when he brought the issue of a broker who mistreated a client to the organization.

“Long story short: They did nothing although they told me they would,” Anderson explained. “I gave them the details and they said, ‘absolutely this will go to our hearing and we’ll bring them in,’ but they wanted to wait and see how FSCO responded and when FSCO did nothing – which was equally bad – they decided to not do anything and they didn’t even update me.

“It was a really disappointing experience which ultimately lead me to say why am I associating myself with them  when they have this code of ethics that … are hollow words they don’t stand behind.”

And with more and more brokers airing their grievances with CAAMP, Anderson realizes there is a desire for an alternative.

“If people don’t already see the flaws in that model ... everyone likes to be inclusive but it’s inclusive to the point where there are conflicts of interest; you can’t represent everybody,” Anderson said. “I think over time if people get involved we will get the right association in place we deserve and it will take off.”

The next step, Anderson explained, is to organize a meeting with interested brokers – many of whom have already contacted him – before enlisting the support of provincial organizations.

“The provincial associations have to be behind this as well, that’s critical,” Anderson said. “I’ve reached out to my Ontario president at IMBA to see what sort of feedback he’s getting because he has implied that they are having some discussion about this with his counterparts. They may need a little more push from people like us.”
 
Anderson will be forwarding information about the next steps to those who have expressed an interest in participating. To get involved, contact him at blair@anderson.ca.
 
 
  • Nick Hamblin on 2014-02-04 12:30:16 PM

    IMBA, AMBA, MBAAC and other provincial or regional associations should coalesce to creata a national organization for brokers by brokers ! That will promote the channel and lobby on behalf of the industry!
    Nick Hamblin MBAAC Board Member!

  • John Bargis on 2014-02-04 1:30:06 PM

    What a shame it is for the industry to be in this position....It's contributed so much money to CAAMP in return for very little....What happens to that money now?

  • Leon Tucciarone on 2014-02-04 1:50:22 PM

    It is time for a Broker focused National Association....I've spent many years at the national level at both the Lender and Broker sides of the business and I agree (and I have been saying for a while now) that it is time for a Canadian National Mortgage Broker Association. CAAMP (formerly CIMBL) served a purpose at a time it was needed. We thank the Lenders for being there and propping us up while we grew up and matured....A time when our goals were more common. I do not believe the Lenders would have expected it to last as long as it has. CAAMP should also look at new directions as well.
    It is time for us to stand up as an industry and organize with a new, Broker focused National organization.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-02-04 1:56:30 PM

    John B, as usual you have a good insight. CAAMP is where all the money is........... how to unlock that and start fresh??? It may simply be impossible. Maybe it would be better to re-focus CAAMP as a broker-centric organization.

  • John Bargis on 2014-02-04 4:25:21 PM

    It's a real mess unfortunately Ron...Too many self interest groups driving the CAAMP bus, and it's not an easy fix.....The provincials under a consolidated association taking over the CAAMP coffers would certainly be ideal....It's getting the CAAMP self interest groups to let go for the sake of progress for the industry that will be the real challenge.

  • Leon Tucciarone on 2014-02-05 12:46:48 AM

    The idea of revamping CAAMP would be great in a perfect role.....but the reality is that it would never happen. So do we just not bother because it's a mess?

  • Bill Nugent on 2014-02-05 9:13:01 AM

    What is being said has a lot of merit when you speak to people across the country that work in the brokerage channel. It is usually easier to work from with in to create change than from the outside and starting another association may not be the answer. One vehicle that is available to the broker channel is the provincial associations. IMBA the provincial association for Ontario presently is looking for nominations to their board as there is 4 vacancies due to the term of the directors expiring. This could be your forum to start these discussions and maybe the first step to creating a system that will work for the brokerage channel.

  • Paul Therien on 2014-02-07 2:22:33 PM

    Having a national association is very important in any industry where you are representing a group that by in large is self employed. It unifies and gives strength to the industry and provides a national voice.

    CAAMP has done a reasonable job of lobbying, although it could be argued that outside of the HST issue, they have largely been ineffectual. It is important to remember also that the HST issue in truth affected primarily Ontario and British Columbia - one of which has since scrapped the HST all together. With mortgage rule changes, many of which were supported by the chartered banks, we have to understand that 13000 mortgage brokers have a relatively small voice in comparison (even compared to a small union) – so it is understandable that it is more challenging to lobby. Compare CAAMP’s 13000 members to the over 150,000 realtors, or the construction unions nearly 300,000 members – well, it is in a democracy all about the majority. The bigger the group – the larger and more powerful the voice. Throw in the mix that the standards vary between provinces, and you get a fractured voice – perhaps a loud one yes, but still fractured.

    Here is what I see, in my humble opinion, as being the biggest issue facing CAAMP right now...

    This association is called the "Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals", there are approximately 13000 Mortgage Broker members across Canada - and less than 1/3 of that number actually have their AMP designation.

    By definition to belong to CAAMP you should automatically be an AMP, after all it is the "Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals", and with the exception of one or two regions, you have to be accredited by the regional regulatory body. In British Columbia for example you are required to take the mortgages course from the University of British Columbia - an accredited university - before you can even apply for your license to be a broker. You must then also pass the very stringent rules applied by FICOM, including relicensing. Being a broker in BC is a tougher go than most provinces, Ontario is second most strict (Although has some ways to go yet to catch up to BC), with Saskatchewan and Alberta on their way as well. By definition with the licensing requirements many of the members of CAAMP ARE accredited by a university or other institution, in addition to being so by the regulatory body. To tell these people that that are not, simply because they do not pay the extra fees or take the courses, that they are not accredited… that presents a challenge.

    If a broker was to say to a consumer “I am a member of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals” the consumer is most likely to assume that the person is accredited. Why would they think otherwise? It is very reasonable to assume that you must be accredited to be a member of an association named as such. Therein lies the rub, how do you then suggest to this mortgage broker that he or she must pay an additional $2-300 and take extra courses to be accredited?

    CAAMP would have been better served to keep the name CIMBL (Canadian Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders) and introduce the designation as a unique program available to licensed mortgage professionals. It would have been far easier to not only define, but to manage perception and to regulate.

    CAAMP’s focus should be squarely centered on working with the provincial regulators to create uniform education and licensing requirements. It does not have to be managed at the federal level, it can still be provincially managed, but to have a uniform educational requirements – that must be administered by accredited educational institutions – would go a long way to creating a stronger industry. Once this is done, then and only then, do you have the teeth you need to demand pre-requisites for obtaining a recognized designation. Much the same as has been done in the accounting world, investments, insurance, etc. etc. etc.

    Just my opinion.

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