First hurdle cleared: CAAMP will in fact mount an investigation into that RBC document responsible for setting off a firestorm of criticism, MortgageBrokerNews.ca has learned, fueling hopes the bank will ultimately be held accountable.
“CAAMP sent me an email saying that they will investigate,” Greg Williamson, one the first members of the association to formally submit a complaint for consideration. The association does not comment on ongoing investigations, although another broker, launching a similar complaint has also been notified of CAAMP’s intention to proceed with an investigation.
Both complaints argue RBC, a lender member of CAAMP, breeched tenets 1, 6 and 8 of the association’s Code of Ethics in permitting a B.C. mobile mortgage specialist to circulate a flyer perpetuating inaccurate and insulting stereotypes about mortgage brokers. The rules demand members ensure “their personnel are knowledgeable in the areas of the mortgage industry,” refrain from “unfairly criticiz(ing) a competitor” and “maintain standards of honesty, truth, accuracy, fairness and propriety in advertising.”
Williamson’s complaint – as well as another submitted by one other Alberta broker – accuses RBC of having violated all three rules. It also answers CAAMP President Jim Murphy who told MortgageBrokerNews.ca that the organization needs a formal complaint in order to consider censure.
CAAMP’s formal complaint process could see the bank respond in writing as early as the end of May. Both complaints went to the association’s ethics investigator who needed to determine if the grievances “merit” further investigation. That litmus test passed, they would then get sent to the chair of CAAMP’s National Ethics Committee (NEC) who must either dismiss the recommendation or opt for a formal investigation. A hearing with both sides present and with the potential to censure or fine RBC could then be called.
Still a number of CAAMP members remain skeptical about the process and the willingness of the association to reprimand the country’s largest bank.
“Do you honestly think that RBC really cares what the Mortgage Brokerage Industry thinks feels or wants done,” wrote one Ontario broker, responding to an earlier MortgageBrokerNews.ca article. “They are Big Blue and they will continue to do whatever they want, when they want to, because they can.”
Brokers should at least exhaust the complaints process and attempt to hold the CAAMP member accountable, argued Williamson, one of the first to post the document from a B.C. mobile mortgage specialist to his website, www.gregwilliamson.ca. In it the RBC employee outlines the differences between mortgage brokers and specialists.
“Brokers will farm out your mortgage to a number of companies and then will set you up with a financial institution based on only the lowest rate, no other factors,” reads the undated document -- “Understanding the difference between mortgage specialists and mortgage brokers.” An RBC logo and the name of one of its British Columbia mortgage specialists appear on the flyer.