Brokers to Associations: Stop road rep 'broker' use

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Mortgage professionals are putting their associations on notice, insisting they use their clout to stop road reps from calling themselves “brokers.”

“It is time for associations such as IMBA and CAAMP here in Ontario to oblige government bodies like FSCO to order banks to stop this practice immediately,” said Jerry Rose, broker of record for Verico - Allendale Mortgage Services in Barrie, Ont. “The practice of road reps calling themselves brokers is unfair to us who took the time to take training and pass exams to obtain that designation.”

The call for action comes on the heels of a article detailing the casual and increasing use of “mortgage broker” by mortgage specialists looking to better explain their role to prospective clients.

At least one Ottawa road rep uses the designated title to to communicate to clients but also in addressing media queries. He was recently quoted in one of the country’s most influential newspapers as a mortgage broker for the country’s sixth largest bank.

That practice doesn’t sit well with brokers, who’ve sounded their frustration in a deluge of comments to that initial article Monday.

“We can look at it as a compliment that road reps appropriate the title mortgage broker when dealing with clients,” said Rose, “but the truth is they haven’t earned that designation and that is unfair to those that worked hard for it.”

Others want their broker networks in tandem with industry associations to take the concern directly to the banks and the regulators to stop any misappropriation of the term “mortgage broker.”

“In view of the confusion, all national brokers should now inform bank CEOs, through our associations, that bank employees MUST call themselves exactly what they are; namely, ‘bank mortgage loan officers,’” writes one reader.


  • Winona Reinsma on 2012-09-19 4:50:56 AM

    It's not just about the "training and passing the exam" that creates the difference. There simply is no comparison between what the 'mortgage specialists' or 'bank mortgage officers' do and 'mortgage brokers.' They have completely different intentions, objectivity, and customer service capabilities. Bank Road Rep's saying they are Brokers is just another example of the smoke-screens in our industry where misinformation is used to mislead the consumer into thinking they are getting something they are not.

  • woodd7 on 2012-09-19 5:13:56 AM

    It would appear to me that this is truley a tempest in a teacup. I am a mortgage specialist with a "big bank" and have all the credentials to be a mortgage broker. I am not as I chose the brand and the full service Banking route. I have not and as far as I am aware none of my peers in this organization referred to ourselves as brokers. If one of the reps for the countrie's sixth largest Banks does, it is his mistake and not a stake to the heart of brokers. It would be a pity to expend a whole lot of effort here when we have legislators creating much more harm.

  • Deepak Bansal on 2012-09-19 5:19:44 AM

    A bigger issue here is the fact that Bank Road Reps (or known as 'Mobile Mortgage Specialists' or 'Mortgage Development Managers' by the Banks), by misusing the title "Broker" are in fact MISLEADING clients. It is unethical to mislead the general public and this fact alone should get the CEOs of the Big Banks to ensure their employees are working in an ethical manner and not misleading clients. For the general public, it is important for them to know the clear difference between a Bank Road Rep and a Broker, where a Broker is NOT biased towards one lender, and a Bank Road Rep is a direct employee of one sole lender who can provide financing options of only ONE lender. Not to say that one is better than the other, but clients should clearly know the difference between the two and be allowed to form their own opinion of which they favor. Using a title that is not earned is completely unethical. With full transparency, its difficult for clients not to see the difference. We can sit here and wait a LONG time before FSCO actually takes any action -- rather it is up to each and every broker to ensure that in each and EVERY interaction with a client they take the time to EDUCATE clients on the clear difference between a Mortgage Broker/Agent vs Bank/Bank Road Rep/Mobile Mortgage Specialist.

  • Elfie Hayes on 2012-09-19 6:24:43 AM

    How happy would you be if you needed the services and advice of a law office and the clerk said he was a lawyer????

    Think about it! One is Licensed the other is titled, Big difference.

    CAAMPand IMBA, FSCO and OFSI it's time to stand up for Brokers on this one.

  • Angela Wong-Liao, Invis Inc on 2012-09-19 6:35:49 AM

    I fully agree that bank road reps cannot misrepresenting themselves as mortgage broker because they are not. I used to work for bank and the role of the bank rep is to obtain mortgage businesses for the bank they work for and they cannot refer mortgage businesses to other lenders. The role of a mortgage broker is that we can refer mortgage businesses to different lenders, including banks, trust companies, credit unions, non-bank lenders and private lenders. We are independent and we are a lot more flexible than a bank road rep and giving more choices to our clients.

  • Don Johnstone on 2012-09-19 7:18:10 AM

    Who are you kidding? As long as our associations such as CAAMP allow banks to be members there is no hope in hell of any changes. If we as brokers see no distinction then why should the customer. If a bank, and therefore all their road reps, are members of CAAMP and can attain the AMP designation they will feel free to call themselves whatever they want.

  • Island Advisor on 2012-09-19 7:55:24 AM

    Hey all, just to clarify a few facts (Not to support the misuse of the broker title).

    First off Not all Bank mortgage specialists have the same options for their clients so the commentary in this article is a little off base when generalizing bank specialists capabilities1

    I speak from experience being a current bank specialist and having been offered jobs at all other of the big 5 and 2 credit unions... so this information is intimate but some could be dated. Some bank specialists can refer to Alt A, B and private lenders internally through the same application sent to the Bank and thus offering more choice to their consumers than the bank reps who do not have this compliant structure in place. Also Bank Specialists have access to non secured alternatives and open mortgages that may better fit a clients needs than a mortgage originated through a broker.

    I do not agree with "Name Borrowing" but it sounds like many of you should investigate deeper the advantgages and disadvantages of each individual specialist as some of us have more flexibility than others!


  • Paul on 2012-09-19 8:55:06 AM

    A while back there was serious concerns about the use of the word 'BANK'.And those who choose to use the word would be fined,etc.

    What's the differance?Bank Rep's utilizing our har earned work - Is it not the same.

    Where's CAAMP?

  • Some Clarification Please on 2012-09-19 11:38:02 AM

    In Alberta are they not suppose to be called Mortgage Agents? Or if the appropriate education has been obtained and time as an Agent than the use of Associate Broker or Broker? In Alberta are the Mortgage Agents misusing Mortgage Broker terminology?

  • Derek Rowley, RMA on 2012-09-19 3:04:51 PM

    I fully agree with Don Johnstone.

    Derek Rowley

  • Jacqueline Awenus, Member Engagement Specialist, C on 2012-09-19 11:37:11 PM

    CAAMP encourages licensed Brokers to send names and examples (including business cards, screen shots and etc.) of any road rep using the terms "mortgage broker" in their advertising to CAAMP who will forward it to the appropriate regulator. It is illegal in Ontario to advertise you are a mortgage broker if you are not licensed with FSCO. Thank you.

  • WasteOfMoney on 2012-09-20 12:05:25 AM

    Whats the point of having a governing body that doesn't promote mortgage brokers services as a whole (like commercials for insurance broker and Realtor brands) that simply explains the importance of services provided by MB as a whole.

    Where's our commercial?, Are MB services not important in the market?

    There's seems to be no attempt by Caamp or Imba to differentiate the mortgage broker and the bank rep in the marketplace that's why this confusion has and will continue to exist.

    It is up to us to write to these respective bodies that oversees our industry and demand that a portion of our fees go to creating a MB brand in the marketplace, otherwise this issue will keep reoccurring in one way or another.

    I'm am glad my brokerage doesn't require MB to have membership in either one because they are not doing there job!.

  • Jacqueline Awenus, CAAMP on 2012-09-20 12:25:25 AM

    To report road reps using the term "mortgage broker" in their advertising, please send the names and examples to and we will respond accordingly.

    Thank you,
    Jacqueline Awenus
    Member Engagement Specialist

  • Jason on 2012-09-20 12:45:01 AM

    from what i believe, calling yourself a mortgage planner, advisor, etc is banned from FSCO - you are either a mortgage agent or a mortgage broker- if you have the broker courses. that is the only two names anyone should call themselves. anyone calling themselves a mortgage broker are incorrect unless they have taken the steps to get their broker's license (not just agent license). I think this strikes a nerve with mortgage agents/brokers because we are so ridiculously regulated and bank "specialists" seem to be free to do whatever they want.

  • Derek Rowley on 2012-09-20 1:04:27 AM


    Thank you for the clarification

  • Doug Adlam, Champion Mortgage Inc. on 2012-09-20 1:07:04 AM

    In summary:
    There are three types of 'mobile mortgage specialists' that call themselves Mortgage Agents and Mortgage Brokers:
    1. The first have not completed the required education
    2. The second have completed the required education & licensing to be called a Mortgage Agent or Mortgage Broker
    3. The third were previously a Mortgage Agent or Mortgage Broker
    In all three situations should not be permitted to use the name Mortgage Agent or Mortgage Broker as:
    i. it is misleading the general public
    ii. it is untruthful
    iii. to hold the title of Mortgage Agent or Mortgage Broker you must be registered as such with FSCO, and must be licensed under a "Brokerage".

    It is unfortunate that the public is being misled, and most 'mobile mortgage specialists' don't understand (or care about) the difference between their title, and the title of a Mortgage Agent or Mortgage Broker.

  • Derek Rowley on 2012-09-20 6:18:47 AM


    I could not have said it better. Well done my friend.

    Derek Rowley

  • Brian Lambert, Broker on 2012-09-25 4:23:52 AM

    I remember in my early days working in the insurance and investment business that there was the same degree of problems with Bank employees putting themselves out as financial advisers giving client investment advice and they had no licensing or accreditation. It was only when clients complained and the investment losses perused that FSCO made it mandatory that Bank representative giving investment advise be fully licensed. I am hoping that we to will see a day when Bank employee's giving mortgage advise also be fully licensed as the only people being hurt are clients that are not getting the expertise or education as those Bank representative are doing whats best for the Bank not the client.

  • AMP Broker on 2012-09-25 7:54:46 AM

    I think MBABC successfully got FICOM to put a road rep licence policy in place a few years ago. I see from the FICOM website they are acting on unlicenced activity.

  • ON Consumer on 2012-09-25 8:32:17 PM

    Ms. Awenus, Will CAAMP also take complaints regarding broker fraud, investigate and respond accordingly?

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