Brokers scramble to cash in FirstLine incentives

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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, 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.  


  • Bleeding Red and White on 2012-07-19 4:59:27 AM

    Hi there... i somewhat disagree with this article...

    Yes, time is looming to use up any remaining Points and Basispoints... HOWEVER...

    there has been no NEW orders by CIBC as to what brokers can use their basipoints and what they cannot... this is not "news"... there is no actual "news" at all. All the prior methods of using FLM baspoints are still the exact same today as they were 2 months ago. Its funny, they article makes it sound like CIBC is providing some direction on this... which they are not. There has been no communication whatsoever from CIBC on the use of basispooints, nor has there been made any "limitations"... again, the rules from a month ago are the same as today. Unfortunately, the big question is what is going to happen after July 31st... nobody knows, and nothing has been spoken on the subject. The phrase use'em or lose'em comes to mind.

    Also, FLM sales reps are not the ones charged to sign off on baspoints to points... this ISNT EVEN AN OPTION (now or ever) and not something the RBMS were ever responsible for. All FLM RBM's are still working - at least until the 23rd, which is our offical end date. (not sure why its not the 31st to align with the closure!). The article says that you can't find a FLM rep to sign off... we are all here... looking for jobs...but we are all here answering phones and emails, right to our last day.... our reputations are too valuable to us to do otherwise at this point. The least we can do is "be there" till the end.

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