Big bank turns to lender for underwriting support

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First National announced Wednesday it has struck a deal with Toronto Dominion (TD) Bank to provide underwriting and fulfillment processing for mortgages originated by the big bank through the mortgage broker channel.

"This is an important agreement that leverages the distinct capabilities and strengths of both parties," Stephen Smith, chairman and chief executive officer of First National said in an official release. "For First National, it provides a new source of income that we hope will grow over time."
The transition will be a tiered, region-specific rollout that will be Canada-wide by mid-2015.

According to the release: “Under the strategic agreement, First National will employ a customized software solution based on its industry leading MERLIN technology to accept mortgage applications from the TD mortgage broker channel and underwrite these mortgages in accordance with TD's credit policies, compliance standards and controls. TD will fund all the mortgages underwritten under the agreement and retain full responsibility for underwriting guidelines, mortgage servicing and the client relationship.”

The move signals a vote of confidence in the quality of one of the broker channel’s  preferred lenders.

"We are very pleased to be chosen for this mandate," Smith said. "It's a clear endorsement of our industry leading technology and expertise in the independent mortgage broker channel by one of Canada's premier financial institutions."  
  • EX-BANKER on 2014-07-17 11:37:33 AM

    TD is up to something. They don't enter into a deal like this without a much bigger plan!! I see the end game (purchase of FN) . Just saying.....

  • Bill Nugent on 2014-07-17 12:05:38 PM

    Why do brokers and agents automatically go to the negative. Is it not possible that TD with the sales force it has across Canada and the bank branch network thought it might ease congestion in the underwriting centre to place some of this business elsewhere and increase it presents in the market by improving service to all of it sources of deals
    The clients are still going to be going to the branch for signing the only thing I can see is increased volume for the brand and a another source of funding for the broker channel as it is not presently there due to the lack of timing on the applications they are sent.

    Be positive for a change

  • EX-BANKER on 2014-07-17 12:20:26 PM

    Why did you assume it was meant to be negative? It's just an opinion :)

  • Catherine on 2014-07-17 1:57:24 PM

    TD has many positive products and services in its basket of offerings. Mortgage underwriting...ahhhhh...not one of them. First Nat has a pretty fantastic UW dept. Makes sense to me!

  • kevin irvine on 2014-07-17 1:59:44 PM

    it is a negative comment but with TD it is difficult to be positive about anything involving them these days, so it's also a good comment.

  • Angela Wong-Liao - Invis Inc on 2014-07-17 4:22:18 PM

    I applaud for this arrangement between TD and First National as our broker channel have so many problems with the existing TD underwriting turnaround time over the past few years. TD recognized their shortfall and taking action to improve their servicing level. First National has a very good system, their turnaround time is excellent. I believe it is a Win! Win! Win! proposition for our brokerage channel. We simply cannot afford to lose another big chartered bank from our channel but we will not accept TD's current servicing level and turnaround time. If First National make some additional revenue from this joint venture, good for them. My only concern is the employment of the existing TD underwriting team, the IMAC team, I hope this joint venture between TD and First National can absorb some of TD's Underwriting team. There are several good underwriters in the IMAC team, ie: Betty Ling-Wong, Sylvia Raines, Anish Bharwani, these underwriters have been with IMAC for a very long time. They used to provide excellent service level and good turnaround timeline until the bank changed into centralized system.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-07-17 5:12:34 PM

    Another winner for Stephen Smith and his team at First Nat, by focusing on productivity, tech, process improvement, great HR and superb investor relations they set themselves up for this milestone.

    Also, kudos to TDCT, it is VERY hard for a big bank to make an out of the box decision and jump into something all new. TD Broker Services leadership: this looks very good on you.

    I expect TD's broker market share to increase 50% in 2015.

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