The Superintendent of Financial Services for FSCO has issued interim compliance and suspension orders against Ralph Iacono and Mortgage Lenders Ltd., and in a separate notice is also warning clients of Royal Bank
not to purchase any products from Sentel Insurance.
FSCO issued an Interim Compliance Order yesterday against Ralph Iacono and Mortgage Lenders Ltd., alleging clients are being placed at risk dealing with Iacono and his company, as both he and his company are in contravention of the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act. At the same time, it ordered them to immediately cease carrying on mortgage brokering business in Ontario and holding themselves out as doing so.
According to a statement released by FSCO, “The Superintendent has grounds to believe that Mr. Iacono is dealing in mortgages without a licence on behalf of Mortgage Lenders Ltd. It is alleged that the clients of Mortgage Lenders Ltd. are at risk because Mr. Iacono's dealings with them contravenes the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act.”
In addition, it is alleged that Iacono's ongoing mortgage activities are in defiance of an Order of the Superintendent dated December 5, 2012, and revoking his mortgage broker licence.
In the case of Sentel Insurance, the FSCO has issued a warning to consumers that Sentel is not licensed to sell products in Ontario, after the regulator was informed that a company or individual has been placing phone calls to RBC clients, saying they’re calling on behalf of Sentel Insurance.
“All of the information we have on Sentel Insurance currently appears in our warning notice,” said Kristen Rose, the senior communications officer with FSCO, “and we will update it if more information becomes available.”
According to the warning notice from FSCO, callers are asking for each recipient’s personal information, allegedly for the purposes of offering identity theft protection insurance on behalf of the bank. The calls come from the number 587-880-4306.
FSCO has confirmed with RBC that Sentel Insurance doesn’t appear to be selling a valid product, and that the provider and RBC aren’t linked.
FSCO asks brokers to make sure they warn clients that if they buy insurance from agents or insurers that aren’t licensed in their province, they aren’t protected under the Insurance Act. They also aren’t covered under the regulations that govern Ontario’s licenced insurance companies and agents.
“FSCO has always handled tips about fraudulent activity in our regulated sectors and reported them to help inform and protect consumers,” Rose told MortgageBrokerNews.ca.
According to FSCO, the Act allows the Superintendent to make an interim order when the interests of the public may be adversely affected by any delay in making a compliance or revocation order. The Act requires Ontario's mortgage brokerages, administrators, brokers and agents to be licenced and holds them to specific standards.
The interim orders against Mortgage Lenders Ltd. and Iacono will expire in 21 days if the Superintendent does not make a notice of proposal to make a permanent order in either matter.