In the face of changing consumer expectations, the discussion on standards of practice and regulation extend beyond the mortgage broker industry, according to a panel of financial services leaders speaking at CAAMP’s annual conference.
Moderated by the CBC’s Amanda Lang, the panel included CAAMP President & CEO Jim Murphy, Randy Carroll, CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario, Cary List, president & CEO of the Financial Planning Standards Council, and John Matheson, partner with StrategyCorp. Inc. The session was promoted as an opportunity to hear from financial services organizations now dealing with the same challenges as the broker channel around promoting professionalism and increasing consumer awareness.
List, whose organization oversees the CFP designation for financial planners, said the focus of regulators should move away from the transaction and focus instead on the quality of the advice consumers are getting. Industry communication with regulators is also important to ensure regulatory changes are not, in fact, forced upon the industry, he said.
“You need to get out in front of regulation to show you can self-regulate,” he told the audience gathered in the John Bassett Theatre at the Toronto Convention Centre.
“Raising standards of practice will to curb over-regulation,” said the StrategyCorp partner. “You can also fight consumer doubt with standards and information.”
Murphy echoed that theme, relating it to recent mortgage rule changes introduced by the federal government. “We need to lend prudently, but the mortgage industry is not the answer and solution to all the financial issues,” he told the audience of more than 1,600 mortgage industry professionals.
Raising the bar over the past 10 years, including the introduction of the AMP designation, has brought the industry a long way, said Murphy, pointing to thye broker channel’s market share gains over that period. But building broker buy-in and AMP name recognition with consumers remains an on-going process.
“The challenge of self-regulation is about numbers to help meet financial requirements necessary to push widespread adoption of the designation,” Murphy said.
Before ending the session, Lang asked the panel a question sent via Twitter: “How do you keep
“Association business has changed,” said Carroll, as part of his response. “We used to be thought of as a resource for members, but now they’re looking to us to be a leader.”
Murphy added, “You have to provide value and you have to have your ear to the ground.”