With just 12 days until Firstline bows out of the industry, brokers are still waiting on an announcement from CIBC on the fate of their POINTS and basisPOINTS accounts, with many now scrambling to cash them in.
Outstanding points, implemented as a part of Firstline’s rate buydown program, are said to run into the equivalent of tens of millions of dollars, with some brokers having accumulated them over the course of years.
CIBC, which bought Firstline in 1995, has not indicated how brokers will be compensated for their accumulated POINTS, if at all. Many brokers are racing to redeem points before the July 31 closing date, MortgageBrokerNews.ca has learned.
POINTS incentives can be redeemed by brokers for travel, merchandise or gift cards, while basisPOINTS
Are redeemable for cash, or can be used to buy down interest rates or extend rate holds.
Ron Butler, broker with Verico Butler Mortgage, said while he hasn’t heard anything from CIBC regarding the fate of his own accumulated points, he will be cashing in as soon as possible. The industry veteran believes all accumulated basisPOINTS will be lost with the shutdown of Firstline.
Firstline is placing limitations of how brokers can use their basisPOINTS before the July 31 close. Currently, CIBC is allowing buydown points on Canada’s highest rate or for cashbacks, leaving little incentive for brokers to use those accumulated basisPOINTS.
And those wishing to transfer basisPOINTS into POINTS for travel may be hard pressed to find a Firstline sales rep to sign off on the paperwork, argue brokers, pointing to the majority of FirstLine sales reps have already left.