Broker numbers continue to represent a challenge for the industry, that according to mortgage professionals themselves, in answering a recent survey.
While 33 per cent of brokers canvassed for the fall 2011 CAAMP-Maritz survey characterized that number as “just right,” a whopping 61 per cent said “there are too many brokers” in the Canadian industry. Some 7 per cent argued that “there are not enough.”
The results speak to growing broker concerns around “part-time” mortgage professionals and any consumer perception challenges associated with those agents.
Still, 2012 is likely to see a significant number of agents opt to leave the business, argue industry veterans pointing to higher licensing standards in Ontario.
Last month, FSCO revealed that as much as 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the province's 9,000-plus licensed agents are no longer working at a brokerage and, therefore, unauthorized to sell mortgages, IMBA Executive Director Joe Rosati told MortgageBrokerNews.ca.
Those mortgage professionals have likely abandoned the business in the more than 21 months since the 2010 renewal period or have taken up administrative or management positions within the industry, he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca.
Either way, that group’s sheer size is likely the strongest indication to date that Ontario may lose as much as 10 per cent to 15 per cent of its registered mortgage professionals.
The figure jives with the estimates of other industry leaders.
“In the last license renewal period in March 2010, 15 per cent of Ontario licensees – agents and brokers – did not renew their license,” CAAMP CEO Jim Murphy told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “In the 18 months since ….They have made up for the 15 per cent loss. Brokers and agents in Ontario this time must also take a re-licensing course, which they did not have to do last time (and) my guess would be (the loss could be) 10 per cent to 15 per cent.”
That kind of chop would likely result from discouraged and inactive brokers opting to exit the business rather than submit to new education requirements introduced this year and taking effect next March. That significant percentage may reflect that phenomenon.
Come April 1, 2012, brokers and agents must have proven they’ve completed a re-licensing course, designed to improve compliance with provincial laws.