Broker: Bank value proposition has ‘gone out the window’

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What was once lauded as a broker-owned bank no longer is, according to some industry players who feel CFF Bank was sold off before it could reach its full potential.

“CFF billed itself as a bank by brokers for brokers and it seems the owners took their payout and betrayed the original philosophy,” Iain Macfadyen of Dominion Lending Centres A Better Way told “CFF was a work in progress and I now think it’s just another bank.”

According to Macfadyen, its original value proposition has been thrown out the window now that it can no longer be called a broker-owned bank.

When asked about the shift in ownership, Gerald Solowoay, CEO of Home Trust, confirmed the bank will be billed as “100 per cent owned by Home Trust,” though the parent company has no plans to rebrand its CFF banking arm.

Home Trust announced early last week that it had acquired the Schedule I bank in a deal that is awaiting regulator and shareholder approval before being finalized.

It was a big move by the lender, and one that brokers are hoping will further cement it as a leading player in the mortgage industry.
For its part, Canadian First Financial acquired MonCana Bank in late 2013 and rebranded it CFF Bank.

That deal was lauded at the time by players who commended Canadian First for establishing the first broker-owned bank – a model that has seen success in foreign markets.

  • Anthony C. on 2015-08-17 1:13:16 PM

    I believe G. Soloway is very clever and has plenty of foresight...and for the time being is saying just the right things for humility's sake...the CFF brand will disappear, as history has evidenced with past institutional acquisitions.

    The fast-track licensing component of this deal was the primary motivator, but I also believe the push of "direct-to-consumer" retail products (which were once primarily the exclusivity of the broker channel) is the icing on the cake for H.T....there are some quality retail locations that will soon have the Home Trust name proudly displayed over their doors.

    And walk-in traffic is what H.T. wants...and they will do well with this endeavor moving forward.

    And in the famous words of Tony Montana, we can "say goodnight to CFF...cause you ain't gonna see them no more".

  • Ron Butler on 2015-08-17 1:59:21 PM

    While I agree 100% with Anthony's thoughts on Gerry Soloway, the greatest likelihood is CFF Bank will disappear into a new "Home" oriented name.

    I am not really sure CFF will totally disappear. I believe a separate company exists to support the retail banking product franchises and that group could carry on with that side of the business.

  • Len Lane on 2015-08-23 2:37:29 PM

    Not sure how this would be considered a broker owned bank, brokers may have bought franchises of CFF but as you can see from details of the sale non of them will share in the profit if there was any to be had in the end. They basically became the tellers for CFF and not much more.

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