Them’s fighting words: A document from an RBC employee outlining the differences between mortgage brokers and specialists is drawing the ire of brokers – charging it mischaracterizes their work, their qualifications and their motives.
“Brokers will farm out your mortgage to a number of companies and then will set you up with a financial institution based on only the lowest rate, no other factors,” reads the undated document -- “Understanding the difference between mortgage specialists and mortgage brokers.” An RBC logo and the name of one of its British Columbia mortgage specialists appear on the flyer.
“When selling your mortgage the broker and the financial institutions reviewing your file may pull numerous credit bureau requests depending on their software capabilities,” continues the document, which aims to provide mortgage specialists with talking points to answer client questions. “Brokers will charge set up fees and have other hidden costs you should be aware of.”
Neither the specialist nor RBC corporate communications in Vancouver returned MortgageBrokerNews.ca calls Friday.
Still, the flyer has now been posted to industry websites across the country, with more than 250 brokers venting their rage and disappointment.
“I think the relationship between mortgage brokers and mortgage specialist is akin to some of the biggest rivalries in sports,” Greg Williamson, founder of 180 Degrees Coaching, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “But this is misleading and for those who read it and don’t know our business, it will mislead them.”
The broker was one of the first to post it on his blog website, www.gregwilliamson.ca. One of the document’s most glaring inaccuracies, maintains Williamson, is the suggestion brokers repeatedly run reference checks on clients.
“If a mortgage broker is using Filogix, they’re generally only pulling a credit check once,” he said. His blog has now attracted more than 280 responses, mostly from brokers concerned the RBC flyer will erode consumer confidence in their industry.
Under another section marked “Training and Educational Differences,” the writer extols the financial planning and institutional knowledge of bank mortgage specialists. She then offers a much briefer synopsis of broker qualifications: “Depending on your province, mortgage brokers must be licensed through the Accredited Mortgage Professionals course. Only this course is required, no financial planning included.”
Many brokers are concerned that the document may speak to the bank’s corporate attitudes about the broker channel. It is, in fact, the only one of the Big Five that has never used external brokers.
“There were obviously inaccuracies in the report,” CAAMP President and CEO Jim Murphy told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I’m in discussions with senior officials from RBC that they were not aware of it and are looking into it.”