Ex-banker tells all

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An ex-banker turned fee-only financial advisor dishes on what it was like to hock mortgages to clients and the pressures to cross-sell.

“When I was in the bank I was incentivised to sell (its products), that’s how my performance was evaluated,” Sandi Martin of Spring Personal Finance said on Canadian Mortgage Hangout TV. “Even though I really wanted to serve the person across the desk from me as best I could and give them the best, unbiased advice… a little voice was telling me ‘but you’re going to have to tell your manager that you couldn’t sell them another Visa card or whatever.’”

Really, the goal of an in-house mortgage specialist at a big bank, argued Martin, is to ensure the client is sold as many products as possible, essentially  a strategy that often forces advise to take a back seat to selling.

“The more depth you have in your client profile, the more money you can make off of them,” Martin said. “Once you have a mortgage and a transactional account, if you can add one more thing – like some kind of investment – the branch feels like it’s really got its client in position.”

This may come as no surprise to mortgage brokers and other independent advisor who started at the banks. Many now touted their ability to provide unbiased advice as a major selling point; but one thing they may not have considered, suggested Martin, is the role of each individual branch in driving cross-sells.

“(Mortgages) are very profitable for the branch… the real competition for mortgage brokers is the person in the branch office down the road; that person is really concerned with how many mortgages, new money to the branch a mortgage can bring them,” Martin said. “(They) want to be identified as the primary bank – so that includes having a checking account, having a savings account, having your RRSPs, having your mortgage, having your line of credit, your unsecured car loan.”

And perhaps most interestingly, Martin revealed exactly how she tried to pry business away from mortgage brokers.

“When I was in banking, if someone would come into the branch – I’ll just kind of give you my spiel, what I used to say to clients, as a responsible bank employee who really wanted their mortgage dollars,” Martin said, recalling her script. “‘Mr. Client, I understand that they can give you 25 basis points and that’s fantastic; I would love to do that for you. But what your 25 basis points is going to buy you here and the bank: I’m here all the time.

“’If you have a problem, it’s my mortgage. I can call my back-office, I can give you service. Once a mortgage broker sells you that mortgage they’re done with you – they’re not going to give you any service, they don’t care about you; you’re the next client out the door for them.’”

Martin delves much deeper into the psyche of a bank employee on the 45 minute segment. To watch the entire episode, click here.

  • John Dearin on 2013-10-25 9:35:02 AM

    I hope Sandi holds herself to a higher moral standard now than she did with the bank. Just glad she is not in our business with that reputation

  • Jon on 2013-10-25 9:38:00 AM

    I went to Sandi Martin facebook page, blog and could not find any mention of what qualifications that Sandi has to show that she warrants being paid her fee. $1100 dollars is a lot to spend for a few hours with a $550 annual review. From what she says, what can she provide that you couldnt get from a library book for nothing?

  • kac on 2013-10-25 9:58:04 AM

    as a former employee of one of canada's largest credit unions i was paid on a commission basis to renew the best clients at higher rates than was offered to new clients,i see this happening now with a couple chartered banks especially after the tightening of mortgage rules where the consumer has less options.I also on a regular basis was rated performance wise to sell the credit unions life and disability insurance on personal loans which was very expensive and in a lot of cases not needed. I was basically told that the clients could not have the loan unless they signed up for life insurance and disability coverage. I am aware this is called tied selling which is not permitted and this happens on a regular basis with FI's today. It is unfortunate there is not a party willing to address and put an end to this with FI's as it certainly isn't in the clients best interests however seems the regulators are not interested in looking after the consumers rights when it comes to this.

  • @kiltedbroker on 2013-10-25 10:34:59 AM

    John Dearin - I am curious to know if you actually watched the full episode of #cmhTV to see what Sandi actually had to say or if you just skimmed this article and shot your mouth off. Because you comments are ignorant.

    Sandi Martin is a true professional and took a risk in having a conversation about what it is actually like in a bank at the branch level to provide INSIGHT to the the mortgage broker channel as to what our competition actually looks like. And just so you know, she actually left her career with the bank because she was conflicted and wanted to be able to offer people unbiased advice on financial matters... a similar value proposition to a mortgage broker.

    I challenge you to go a little deeper, have a look at the video, do some research by looking at her blog. You should really take a better look at the people you publicly criticize, because your comment does not reflect poorly on Sandi, it reflects poorly on you.

  • @kiltedbroker on 2013-10-25 10:43:30 AM

    Jon - if that is your actual name?

    Regardless of Sandi's qualifications, why should anyone take you seriously in an online forum if you don't even let people know who you are? It is easy to make comments behind an anonymous screen name...

    However on the subject of personal finance, what qualifications do bank employees need to sell products to their clients? Does accreditation or qualifications ensure that person acts in the best interest of the client?

    I challenge you to do some research around what a fee-only financial planner does and how that compares to the typical bank model where investments are sold, loaded with management fees and deferred sales charges.

    Is it worth paying $1100 up front for a financial plan that won't cost you $2400 in the long term in management fees?

    Would you rather have someone who can look at your situation objectively or deal with a bank rep with a couple letters behind their name and the banks agenda on their mind?

    Sounds awfully close to the value proposition of a mortgage broker now doesn't it?

  • Long Term Former banker on 2013-10-25 11:18:48 AM

    I have spent many years with a major bank and rest assured, the staff have very aggressive goals with respect to product sales. They are expected to sell product and are reviewed weekly on their sales. The mortgage product is the door opener to sell the array of services, with the most profitable being the transaction accounts, believe it or not. Once we sell a mortgage for a major bank, they are trying to cross sell, upsell and wrap their arms around the client so that the bank account manager becomes the most important person in the client's financial future. Our challenge will always be to show our value to clients and have a solid contact strategy over the life of the mortgage

  • Ron Butler on 2013-10-25 11:24:08 AM

    I think we need to accept the fact that people who are employees of a bank are just that: employees! Good employees do what is asked of them by their employer as long as it is legal. I think there is a fair point to be made that tied selling is illegal and the sale of insurance products in tandem with mortgage products can be a minefield.

    I did watch the whole video and I think there is no need to attack this woman for her activities as a bank employee, she did what she was paid to do, she grew into a new and different role and now she charges for financial advice which is the profession that thousands of other people in Canada are active in; so no need to attack that business.

    I thought her story was very informative and as someone who believes the banks are powerful, smart, well trained and well organized adversaries of mortgage brokers I appreciated greater insight on how branch staff are trained and motivated.

  • John Dearin on 2013-10-25 12:42:00 PM

    Hey Jackson,

    No I did not watch the 45 minute video, nor did I skim the article. I reread the article a couple of time before my comments. I stand by them based on the contents of the article and that is all I commented on. If there are any falsehoods in the written article, then Ms. Martin should qualify them here. I don't have time to watch a 45 minute video.

    I don't know if "shooting off my mouth" is a fair comment from you Jackson. The article clearly states that for her time at the bank sales were paramount over good advice. That reads lie and get more income. If the sale wasn't working well, lie about after sale support from brokers. I say lie because at my brokerage we stay in contact with everyone, as I am sure does most successful brokers. We have gone so far as to calling the lender and GE when a client lost her job and couldn't make the mortgage payment. We have interceded on another client's behalf when the mortgage payments got mixed up on the change of banks. We stay with our clients to the end, so I find the desperate practice of putting down brokers to save deal offensive.

    Based on your comments you seem to know her personally, so I might suggest that your personal knowledge of her has coloured what you read in the written article. If she left the bank because of her new found morals...fantastic. But I would like to be a fly on the wall when she explains to her previous bank clients how she operated at the bank. Seriously, how many people were done dirty by this advice? I am sure if I took hours of my time to read your comments, read her blog, watch her video, my opinion would change. I read the article, my comments are based on the article, I see no reason to go any further.

    Having said, all that, I can easily take your word that the article does not reflect the true nature of the lady.

  • Jon on 2013-10-25 12:42:45 PM

    @kiltedbroker you absolutely right my name isnt Jon its Jonathan. As a fomer mortgage broker & a licensed Financial Planner I feel that I have earned the right to have an opinion in the 10yrs I've been in this occupation. As per the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada states on how to pick a financial planner, to ask these questions:
    •Are you registered to offer financial planning (or to sell investments, insurance, etc.)? Who are you registered with?
    •What type(s) of services or products are you registered for?
    •Are you free to advise me on a wide range of financial strategies and companies, or are you restricted to companies you represent?
    •What are your formal qualifications?
    •How much experience do you have?

    Having formal qualifications and being licensed is of utmost importance, whether you work for a bank or not. I do agree however that Financial Advisors should be fee only and not be driven by commission. I also believe that Mortgage Brokers should be paid for the qualifty of their work, experience and advice and not paid by commission which does not differentiate between brokers. Wouldnt it be refreshing if all of the Financial Institutions decided en masse to not pay commission but to reduce clients mortgage rates by that amount. Then every mortgage broker was a fee only broker and they would succeed or fail dependant on the quality of their work. Not all Financial Advisors work for banks and I do believe those few letters behind your name make a difference otherwise whats the point of the AMP designation?
    Feel free to add your comments

  • Gordon McCallum on 2013-10-25 12:50:40 PM

    It's clear that, from this thread, commenting without watching the video is pointless. Thanks to Ron Butler and Jackson Middleton for pointing this out and setting the record straight.

    As for being licensed to sell investments, there's another clue here: "Fee ONLY planner." The potential conflict of interest that planners have to also sell investments is one that Ms. Martin avoids by staying independent and focused on building a PLAN for her clients, which they seem more than happy to pay for. Good for her, good for them.

    As Jackson pointed out, Ms. Martin left the bank because she had concerns with many of the sales tactics being taught, and her time as a guest on #cmhTV was both informative AND encouraging for mortgage brokers who are willing to take the time to learn and improve. For anyone who is interested in a fresh perspective from across the street, it's well worth the time.

  • Sandi Martin on 2013-10-26 6:21:18 AM

    John, I took a little while to respond to your comments because - as I'm sure you can understand - I want to make sure they're reasoned and considered and not just automatic offense-taking.

    I imagine that the client interaction you had when you were writing your first mortgage was different than in your second, seventh, and tenth years of doing business. As you become more familiar with industry standards and expectations, best practices and not-so-best practices, I'm sure you grew and learned and became more and more valuable to your clients. Permit me to enjoy the same benefit of experience.

    If you had watched the video - which I understand might not be the highest and best use of your time - you would understand that the point I was making by sharing the spiel I used to give was that bank employees get technical and objection handling training, and that's all. There's no incentive for them to learn about the greater mortgage industry as a whole, and the things they say about mortgage brokers aren't learned from experience, they're trained as a sales script. If an employee chooses to familiarize herself with the mortgage industry, or the mutual fund industry, or the financial services industry as a whole, it's on her own time, for her own interest and self-improvement.

    Further, I would trust someone who knows me to be a better judge of my motivations, values, and ethics than someone who read 500 words about me.

    Jon, achieving your CFP designation means that you took difficult courses, passed some challenging exams, self-report your standards and conduct, have had no complaints escalated to disciplinary review, and take continuing education credits. It's a big commitment, and something - rightly - to be proud of. It does not, however, automatically invalidate the abilities and technical experience of someone who has not chosen to follow that path.

    When my mutual fund license expired because I terminated my employment with a registered dealer, that didn't magically erase my knowledge about mutual funds and how to evaluate their suitability, their costs, and their performance. Although I can no longer advise clients on the merits of any specific security they might hold or be contemplating, I can still teach them how to do it.

  • Jan P. on 2013-10-28 8:41:31 AM

    As an aside, cross-selling is not reserved to banks. Every salesperson aspires to grow their business.

    A small note to the author and editor of this column that the word "chequing" is spelled with a "qu" in Canada, the U.K. and elsewhere and not "checking" which is spelled with "ck" in the U.S. only.

  • Consumer on 2013-10-28 10:04:21 AM

    You know... all of this is very interesting for a couple of reasons... let’s look at couple assumptive statements being made here…

    a) All Bank employees are evil and have no training. Actually quite the opposite is true. The vast majority of bank employees have post secondary educations. In fact the banks in Canada hire a significant number of the business and accounting graduates when compared to other employers in Canada. As a former employee of three of the big five, I can tell you that they all have had quite robust training programs and continuing education. In fact, I got my masters while working for one of the evil banks, and they even helped pay for my education. I was never taught by any of my employers to do tied selling, I was always told that it was very important to do what was right – for the customer and the bank. Banks also have additional licensing requirements that mortgage brokers are not subject too. Such as annual AML training and testing, annual PIPEDA testing and training, annual code of conduct testing and training.
    b) With all due respect Sandi… if I was working with you and you were doing tied selling or some of the other things that you have stated… I would have been required to report you to management for unethical business practices. It is standard policy at all of the banks in Canada that this type of activity be reported, and that is in writing and available to anyone who wants to see. They are called codes of conduct. In fact as an employee you signed a contractual agreement stating that you would adhere to this code at all times. If you reported to me… I would have fired you for this behavior.
    c) Brokers are very quick to always slam the banks on this site I noticed. This Kiltedbroker seems to rather enjoy it. Let’s take a look at some interesting items. Brokers claim that banks up-sell their clients all the time to make more money. Really? A business up-selling their clients? Why… it is just unethical! Wait… fast food, clothing stores, auto makers, realtors, travel planners, phone companies… etc. they ALL DO IT – ALL BUSINESSES DO IT. WAIT… so do mortgage brokers! Ever hear of Mortgage insurance? DLC Credit Cards? How about all those brokers that “keep in touch” with their clients – and if there is a rate drop… get them to early renew… I can save you money! Time to renovate! I am on more than one mailing list for brokers, and yes… a few of you who commented on here. YOU ALL DO IT. Pot… meet Kettle.
    d) Bank employees actually do have greater access to their clients mortgage account and information than mortgage brokers do. It is just a fact. That also means that they can move more quickly if the customer needs help. See because the banks actually have a relationship with their clients, that is based on more than the odd email and doing a mortgage every couple of years. We need our banks, they are called bank accounts. It is where we keep all of our money.
    e) Brokers really can’t offer anything unique anymore. Back in the day brokers had access to lower rates and greater product lineups, but that is not true anymore. TD, CIBC, RBC, BMO, etc. all offer a wide range of products – and in fact they all offer products that are not available to the broker community. So if you really look at it… I have more choice dealing direct with the banks then I do with a broker.
    f) Ever tried to make a complaint about a broker? Where do you go if a broker gives you bad service? You are all “independent contractors” – you are not accountable if I am not happy. In fact most of you will find a way to blame either the Realtor or the lender. Now if I have a complaint about the bank… I have lots of options. Management, ombudsman, OFSI, etc. Sure I could complain to your regulators (FSCO, FICOM, RECA, etc.) but they don’t have time to deal with an unhappy consumer – they are too busy dealing with the rampant fraud that is going on in the mortgage brokerage industry right now.

    Brokers spend a lot of time crapping on the banks, but the fact of the matter is… banks actually do a good job. Not perfect, but they are pretty reasonable. Sure there are horror stories, but if you think about it… not really than many when you consider it. For every complaint a bank gets, there are literally MILLIONS of people that are satisfied. People will always complain about big corporations because it is easy to attack a faceless corporation. Broker better understand though that those faceless corporations… are YOUR biggest suppliers of money – who do you think backs the broker only lenders?

    Hypocrites, every single one of you.

  • Shayne on 2013-10-28 10:24:50 AM

    Interesting comments.

    I am guessing that there are a large number of both financial planners and mortgage brokers that were previously employees of banks or affiliated with some other major financial institutions. Good for them!

    Making the leap to going out on their own will enable them to provide clients advice and products with out the bias of being an employee of a financial institution with sales quotas.

    Going to a fee only financial planner is the only way to guarantee you are receiving objective, unbiased advice. The problem is the average person does not understand terms like MER and DSC and the average "free" financial planner won't go disclose exactly what they mean or the effect they will have on returns.

    "I went to Sandi Martin facebook page, blog and could not find any mention of what qualifications that Sandi has to show that she warrants being paid her fee. $1100 dollars is a lot to spend for a few hours with a $550 annual review. From what she says, what can she provide that you couldnt get from a library book for nothing?"

    What can anyone provide that a person could not seek out on their own? The average Canadian seeking financial advice does not want to seek things out on their own, they want a helping hand. I believe when I took the CFP courses it they amounted to just under $3,000. This is the best thing I could have done for my own personal finances, and I will likely never pay for any financial advice, but the average person will not do this.

    It was then unfortunate, but when seeking employment as a Financial Planner I was soured by an industry "professional." Turns out this was a good thing.

    Rather than bashing people that make the leap, we should be applauding it.

    I was going to go over about half a dozen examples of licensed financial planners "dropping the ball" but every industry has people with different skill levels, service levels and ethics. No need to lump everyone together.

    Regardless of the letters you have behind your name, if you are a financial planner or a mortgage broker with the proper knowledge and you care for your clients, you will succeed.

  • Ron Butler on 2013-10-28 10:31:13 AM

    Consumer,

    I think you have made some valid points that I talk about all the time and on some points you are just lying in a silly way.

    Points: c) d) you mostly have us there, brokers tend to be too knee jerk about bashing banks, banks have well trained staff for the most part. Banks do have good intell on their clients and can be very proactive about helping out with mortgage payment issues when they can.

    Point a) b) are just a silly lies, banks employ coercion tactics every day that amount to tied selling, every banker is trained to tell half truths and a few out right lies about mortgage brokers and about mortgage brokered mortgages, we have all heard them a thousand times. Nobody in a bank is getting FIRED over telling a client the mortgage broker will likely charge extra fees and have hidden costs because if that were true, the bank branches would have no staff in them.

    point e) we can agree to disagree, banks have many products we do not have and I have seen some deals done in branches I have no idea how they were ever approved but ultimately brokers have a lot more choice in underwriting programs than any one bank can offer.

    point f) way off base but maybe just based on ignorance. All the provincial regulators take complaints very seriously and agents have lost their jobs brokerages have been shut down. It's just a fact.

    Frankly brokers do spend too much time bashing banks. I thought Sandi's presentation was fair and honest. Again, where you are way off base is saying all banks are infinitely fair and unbiased about the all advise they give and all of the tactics that they use. Banks are big successful businesses and they got that way by balancing aggressive sales tactics with respect for maintaining a customer. Same as any mortgage broker.

  • Consumer on 2013-10-28 11:23:43 AM

    @ Ron Butler

    Mr. Butler - I never said that banks are infinitely fair and unbiased – these are your words not mine. I in fact I stated that they are not perfect and receive complaints. Unlike you who claims that it is all sunshine and roses in broker land.

    As for your comments about A and B being "silly lies" - really? Are you suggesting then that most bank employees are undereducated? When was the last time you read all of the banks code of conduct for employees? If you actually took some time to really talk to the people that set policy at the banks, and talk to OFSI you would know that they strongly advise against tied selling, and in fact it is against the banks codes of conduct. They have more annual testing that mortgage brokers do, that is a simple fact. The so called “AMP” is, by brokers own statements on this site… a joke. Unlike the federally mandated training and testing that bank employees must undergo each and every year.

    I never said that bank employees would be fired for telling half truths or lies about mortgage brokers. If they do say those things, how is that different than you telling horror stories about the banks to your customers? Are you saying that every single person who deals with a bank is going to have the same awful experience? You doing this is NO DIFFERENT. And it makes you a hypocrite.

    I said that if they were caught doing TIED SELLING they could be. Don’t believe me? It has happened in the past, check it out – do your research, just as you suggest that I should do. Under OFSI regulations tied selling is illegal – and just so that you are clear – tied selling is stating to a consumer: “You can ONLY have this (Mortgage, loan, credit card) IF you also get XYZ product.

    I can walk into any bank and borrow money without having to open an account, I have done it before. I walk into a credit union and they tell me that I MUST be a member to borrow. So banks bad, but credit unions good? Will the bank try to up-sell me? Of course they will! BUT I GET TO SAY NO and I have a LEGISLATED cancellation period that the banks must honour, and at no cost to me. What about you brokers who also sell insurance? GIC’s? Credit Cards? You don’t do it for the good of the customer, you do it to make more money. You get paid to do it. How much would you sell it if you didn’t get paid? Would you work just as hard for the consumer if you did not get paid?

    Name ONE mortgage PRODUCT that I can ONLY get through a mortgage broker and is not available if I deal direct with a bank or credit union. Not talking about credit rating, or interest rate – name me a product. I will come back with the consumer credit company where I can get the product direct. GUARANTEED. As for underwriting programs… really? Outside of subprime lending, A credit is pretty standardized across lenders. You see, because the banks are the principle source of funding for broker only lenders, they get to dictate what they will purchase when the mortgages are securitized, which means that they influence underwriting policy. In addition, the insurers set the policies for what they will insure. Very few broker only lenders maintain a balance sheet because of the cost associated with that, and as they do not have the resources that banks do – they need to sell off their portfolios in order to remain competitive on rate.

    As for consumer complaints, regulator only have licensing authority and they have strict parameters surrounding what evidence they need in order to suspend or terminate a license. All of the regulators across Canada say that they do not have the capacity to deal with all of the complaints that they receive. When they do look at it, yes they take it seriously, but all you have to do is look at the sites of the regulators to see what happens. A small fine here or there, but ultimately, as a small business owner the buck stops with you. Your associations have no teeth either, they can try to fine, but they cannot enforce. Perhaps you are one of the few that publicly posts the regulators information in the event that your customers have a complaint? Big sign in your office maybe?

  • Jon on 2013-10-28 12:34:14 PM

    @Sandi the problem with the whole "Financial Planner" industry is there's no set standard for qualifications or requirement for continuing education. Yes this is required if you sell mutual funds, but as you mentioned earlier you decided not to continue with your mutual funds license. My point is that I agree completely with the whole fee only Financial Advisor route. I do not agree with an industry (Financial Planner) that does not have a minimum educational standard with some accountability for unethical behaviour & a requirement for continued education. My brother in law is a mechanic who is very frugal with money and has amassed a large net worth without any formal education, realistically he could start calling himself a Financial Planner based on his own life experience. This is not a personal attack on you but the current status quo where there are no minimum standards for Financial Planners. Where peoples life savings are involved in a country where financial literacy is so poor the industry needs to be improved. I did start watching the video but turned it off after it became nothing more than the same old "banks bad" "broker good" message.

  • Ron Butler on 2013-10-28 2:22:23 PM

    @ Consumer

    I stand by silly lies. The funny thing is I said I believe the bank employees are well trained, mainly well managed and largely are well meaning folks but frankly I don't care how many codes of conduct they are signing the bank employee is there to further the interests of the BANK. Period, full stop, end of the story.

    All this within the realm of the bank's policies and balanced to make sure that the bank has a long term positive relationship with its customers but totally within the bank's requirement to be very profitable.

    To pretend the branch employees are something else like advice giving saints is just a silly lie.

    We as mortgage brokers are just the same, we balance our self interest against our need to preserve good client relations and repeat business.

    Trying to insist one is different than the other is just................. silly.

    Some of the points you make just speak to your lack of knowledge. Small business owners like mortgage brokers have big problems with complaints and bad online reviews and BBB actions. They are fantastically time consuming and bad for business. We actually have far more reason to avoid them than the big banks because we are so small.

    Let's face facts who in Canada has not been violently angry at their Bank at one time or another. We can change banks but half the time we end up back at the bank we were mad at if we live long enough. THERE ARE ONLY 5 OF THEM!!!.

    There are a jillion mortgage brokers, once we lose a customer they are gone forever. You simply cannot survive long term buffeted by bad consumer reviews and regulator complaints, it's just too distracting from making your business work and grow.

    I am afraid much as some mortgage brokers have little insight as to how the branches work in a precise, factual way you really have no idea how a mortgage broker has to function to be successful long term.

  • Consumer on 2013-10-28 2:55:17 PM

    @Ron Butler

    Ummm… Yeah I never said once that the banks were not there to further their own interests. What planet do you think I live on? ANYONE who is in business is in it to make money, at least in a free market economy - communisim - well actually it really applies there too just in a controlled state.

    What I did say was that YOUR claims that bank employees always do tied selling, and always lie to consumers is a false and misleading statement. Other statements that bank employees do not have good training, or education – are false statements. They have stricter ongoing educational requirements than mortgage brokers do. I do not particularly care if you believe that or not because it doesn’t make it untrue – and there is more than enough factual evidence to support that it is true.

    I never said that branch employees are advice giving saints, not once. That was you.

    I stated that the way you as mortgage broker portray bank employees is not accurate. You paint them as being less intelligent, that they all LIE about mortgage brokers, and that they never have the clients interest at heart. Sure, some may not, but if you want to start making blanket statements… well then… How would you feel if given that reported mortgage fraud is near double with mortgage brokers, everyone just started saying that ALL mortgage brokers were fraudsters?

    A VERY UNTRUE thing to say – there are a lot of very good brokers, and there are some that are not so good. Ditto for bank employees – some are good and some are bad.

    You want to know why so many bankers dislike mortgage brokers? Read your own comments and then try to remember that this is a PUBLIC forum. You think a banker would have any respect what-so-ever for mortgage brokers after reading your comments or many of the comments on here? What about consumers? The sad thing for you, I know lots of mortgage brokers that get referrals from bank branches when the bank cannot complete the deal because it is not a fit for them. Guess you are not one of them are you?

    But then, if they were only looking out for the bank they would never do that would they? Must be another silly lie.

    Only five banks in Canada? Only FIVE options for consumers to choose from for banking services?

    We must live in a different country. Last time I checked there were hundreds of options, credit unions, trust companies, etc. I know lots of people that do not deal with the “big five” and they are just fine. Get a grip.

  • M. Robertson on 2013-10-28 2:59:08 PM

    Ron,

    Quite while you are ahead. You are arguing with a person that is using the moniker Consumer and honestly I do not think you can win this.

    Although unlikely, if this really is a consumer, you are not helping the broker cause.

  • Ron Butler on 2013-10-28 3:17:52 PM

    @Consumer

    Never said always tied selling or always misinforming about brokers, I said I have about a thousand examples and in 18 years I do.

    But I relentlessly say banks are brilliant competitors, well trained, great systems, very strong leaders at the top. I have said it a 100 times check the site archives. I get referrals from banks every month.

    My main lenders are banks.

    No one on this site is more even handed about banks, branches and the people in them than I am and will continue to be.

    Bank staff are trained to deflect broker inroads with bank clients; brokers are trained to deflect banks from taking away their clients. We complete for the same clients and are trained and operate accordingly.

    You said yourself there are good and bad in each camp.

    The bottom line is your original assertion is banker better than broker: untrue.

  • Ron Butler on 2013-10-28 3:19:41 PM

    M. Robertson, they already identified themselves as working for 3 banks. This person is a banker not a welder.

  • Consumer on 2013-10-28 3:59:00 PM

    @ Ron Butler... actaully I did NOT assert that. What I said was that brokers needed to stop endlessly bashing the banks, which Mr. Butler you do rather regularly on here. Just to refresh your memory here is my original comment that I closed with:

    "Brokers spend a lot of time crapping on the banks, but the fact of the matter is… banks actually do a good job. Not perfect, but they are pretty reasonable. Sure there are horror stories, but if you think about it… not really than many when you consider it. For every complaint a bank gets, there are literally MILLIONS of people that are satisfied. People will always complain about big corporations because it is easy to attack a faceless corporation."

    OH and I am not a banker. I said I USED to work for the banks. I also said that they (the banks I worked for) helped me to get my MBA. I am also a CPA. My designation should give you a clue as to what I do for a living.

  • Consumer on 2013-10-28 4:07:09 PM

    One last thing Mr. Butler - to quote your words - exactly:

    "banks employ coercion tactics every day that amount to tied selling, every banker is trained to tell half truths and a few out right lies about mortgage brokers and about mortgage brokered mortgages, we have all heard them a thousand times."

    There you have it. Your words stating that the banks TRAIN their staff to tell half truths and lies.

    I hope your banker partners don't read this...

  • @kiltedbroker on 2013-10-28 4:21:55 PM

    For what its worth...

    "No one on this site is more even handed about banks, branches and the people in them than I am and will continue to be." Ron Butler

    I can vouch for that. I have always found Mr. Butler to represent the banks as smart competitors... much to my chagrin. Mr. Butler is a class act in our industry. Always a professional.

    I admit that I let my personal experience and bias drive some of my comments in forums such as these... and that I get a little heated, but can you blame me?

    I believe in the value proposition of the mortgage broker; and similarly the fee-only financial planner, that providing impartial advice and/or diversified products from several institutions serves the public's interest better than dealing with a single provider with a single agenda.

    Lets not forget that this video was produced on #cmhTV - as a way to help mortgage professionals with the sales process and to understand some of the objections clients will be faced with at the bank branch level. This was never intended for public discussion, nor was it formatted in a way to make that argument. However I am happy to see that as insignificant as some bankers believe the broker channel to be, that we are receiving so much passion and attention in the comments of our industry's publication.

    Further to that, Sandi Martin is a very credible guest to speak on this subject matter given her experience at the bank and her continued involvement with the financial services industry in Canada. I thought she delivered great insight into the banks operation and provided value to mortgage brokers looking to better understand the mortgage sales process.

  • @kiltedbroker on 2013-10-28 5:10:31 PM

    @Consumer

    I am curious why you are hiding behind an anonymous handle?

    If you are so accomplished, why not identify yourself?

    Because isn't leaving extensive comments on an industry specific forum while claiming no affiliation to that industry and taking an antagonistic approach without disclosing your true identity the straight up definition of an internet troll?

  • Ron Butler on 2013-10-28 5:14:32 PM

    Consumer

    I stand by my words, the times ex-bankers have related the training to me are simply too numerous to count. Heck, I have heard it from someone who did the training. I have nothing to hide from my banker partners who do read this board because I put my name on it. I hide behind nothing (possibly I just can't find anything big enough to hide behind). I am not "Consumer"

    These men and women who run the banks are not afraid to hear it. They teach methods to thwart brokers and that's a fact. What I may think is a lie they may think is true, that's the cut and thrust of real commerce. Bottom line, we compete with each other relentlessly and frankly based on available resources that is not a David and Goliath battle that's an Ant versus Tank battle but the brokers are still here and still fighting for share.

    As Mr. Middleton says this board is made up 90% of brokers and those that partner with brokers. I cringe at half things my colleagues say here but they are fellow mortgage brokers and if someone attacks our business in our house that person is going to hear about it.

  • M. Robertson on 2013-10-29 8:56:53 AM

    Well that was an interesting dialogue.

    I would have to say however that I do not disagree with the things this consumer person said around training... I worked at a bank for over 20 years, much of it in mortgages. In all that time I was never told to lie about brokers, In fact I was told that if we could not get a mortgage done that sending the referral to a broker was a good idea.

    and I have to say - the training I received was actually excellent. It was a far cry better than what is offered by CAAMP for the AMP designation. Maybe that has changed in recent years, but I can’t see it going backwards with the changes in regulations.

    I also think it is important to remember... there are still jurisdictions in this country that do not require mortgage brokers to be licensed... and it has not been that long since brokers have required to be licensed in many jurisdictions. Ontario was pretty recent in the grand scheme of things, and Ontario licensing is not the most stringent. FSCO has very small teeth and very limited power compared to FICOM in BC or RECO in Alberta.

    I am not saying that Consumer is right, but they are not wrong either.

  • M. Robertson on 2013-10-29 8:58:34 AM

    Well that was an interesting dialogue.

    I would have to say however that I do not disagree with the things this consumer person said around training... I worked at a bank for over 20 years, much of it in mortgages. In all that time I was never told to lie about brokers, In fact I was told that if we could not get a mortgage done that sending the referral to a broker was a good idea.

    and I have to say - the training I received was actually excellent. It was a far cry better than what is offered by CAAMP for the AMP designation. Maybe that has changed in recent years, but I can’t see it going backwards with the changes in regulations.

    I also think it is important to remember... there are still jurisdictions in this country that do not require mortgage brokers to be licensed... and it has not been that long since brokers have required to be licensed in many jurisdictions. Ontario was pretty recent in the grand scheme of things, and Ontario licensing is not the most stringent. FSCO has very small teeth and very limited power compared to FICOM in BC or RECO in Alberta.

    I am not saying that Consumer is right, but they are not wrong either.

  • Really folks? on 2013-10-29 9:02:19 AM

    It does not matter who is right or wrong, and it does not matter that 90% of readers are from the broker industry (or so one assumes). Even if the 10% number is right, that is till 10% non industry that sees dialogue like that - which is just unprofessional.

    Food for though... when you put your name on your comments... they come up as google results... so if you think that only people who actively come to this site see those comments... you would be wrong.

  • Ron Butler on 2013-10-29 9:59:50 AM

    As some one who actually works with FSCO on complaints I am here to tell everyone they are serious and thorough, just because they have difficulty dealing with non-licensed folks causing problems, I can assure everyone they take their jobs seriously dealing with us licensed people. Casting doubt as to FSCO's effectiveness dealing with licensed individuals is simply wrong.

    I don't know how many more times I can say that bank branch people are well trained and well managed. It seems like a some people commenting here employ selective reading. I am happy to stand by every statement I made. If we have to couch everything we say or write with an eye to social media commentary, well really, are trying to create a nation of mealy mouthed cowards. Really??

  • Sean (real name) Binkley on 2013-10-29 10:35:29 AM

    I think we need to create a reality show and call it "Bickering Brokers" Imagine the drama & intrigue - well not to mention the viewers we'll steal from Duck Dynasty! Love & peace all!

  • Ron Butler on 2013-10-29 10:40:44 AM

    Nobody has the right beard to make the show work.

  • @kiltedbroker on 2013-10-29 11:14:51 AM

    Now, if we were going with moustaches instead of beards... I could be into that.

  • Faye Drope on 2013-10-29 4:53:14 PM

    I call myself a recovering banker and I joke about it. However I received some of the best training at the Credit Union. Invaluable information.
    Its business boys and girls and that's all it is. The banks are not the enemy, nor are they your friends - they are in business. And if you are in business you're in it to make money. Cross selling is part of, even McDonald's employees get that. Sandi is just telling something we all knew...not?

  • Gordon McCallum on 2013-10-29 10:02:16 PM

    Having had the benefit of watching the comments above unfold, I think I've come to the realization that we can all look silly at times - especially when we take one experience - either good or bad - and expand on it to label all bankers, or brokers, as a so-and-so, such-and such.

    Let's all agree: Many bankers are very well trained and ethical. Many brokers are very well trained and ethical as well.

    At the same time, some in both camps fight dirty, compete in ways that undermine their respective professions, and say things that border on untrue and unfair.

    It's a non-winnable argument when we take personal experiences and paint an entire segment of society with the same brush...even if they are bankers. (That was a joke).

    Take what you want from last week's CMHTV episode...but what we heard was ONE ex-banker's experience and from what I can tell, nobody is saying that Sandi was dishonest in what she presented or that she has anything to gain by shining the light on her experience.

    Others may have had a different experience.

    So, now that we know that there are both good, and maybe not so good, individuals in both camps, it brings the conversation back around to business models:

    I favour choice, competition, and a compensation model that aligns the service provider's interests with the client's. Some may prefer oligopoly, scarcity, confusion, inefficiency and more expense, which is what we had when the banks dominated and what we'd have again if Brokers were not an option for Canadian consumers.

    Mr. CPA must've been sleeping during economics class if he thinks the 'bank as God' approach is good for the "Consumer".

  • Paul Therien - CENTUM on 2013-10-30 8:53:56 AM

    I've read and followed the commentary on here and quite frankly I think that it really illustrates a key item for all mortgage brokers.

    We need to align ourselves as an industry to better combat those misconceptions about mortgage brokers that are present. Regardless of source.

    As Gord has pointed out brokers provide choice and that is a powerful thing for the Canadian consumer.

    I also think that it is nice to see so many brokers unite and stand up for brokers as happened here.

    For the most part (I say most becasue as Gord points out, there are a few bad apples) brokers are a group of good people that are interested in helping people make smart home financing solutions. It is a needed service.

  • not what he seems on 2013-11-01 9:42:25 AM

    You know everyone talks about what a great man Mr. Butler is... but let me tell you this... Mr. Butler is not the consumate professional that he might seem.

    He is the most outspoken on this site and that gives him a big voice, but a big voice does not mean that you are a good broker. It just means that you are great at standing on a soap box.

  • @kiltedbroker on 2013-11-01 9:57:12 AM

    @ not what he seems...

    Well, maybe one of the reasons he does have a big voice is because its consolidated under one name... his own.

    Unlike you, Mr. Butler doesn't hide behind an anonymous screen name. He makes statements and stands behind them. Like them or not.

    Please do us all a favour and don't bother giving your 2 cents if you aren't willing to identify yourself... seriously, you have provided absolutely no value to this conversation.


  • Ron Butler on 2013-11-01 10:09:30 AM

    Funny, I have never thought of myself as a consummate professional, never in my life.

    I picture myself more a loud mouthed, arrogant, abrasive, irritating SOB.

  • Reimann on 2014-05-20 9:49:19 AM

    Hello there! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this website? I'm getting sick and tired of Wordpress because I've had issues with hackers and I'm looking at options for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  • lucy on 2015-01-22 9:41:05 AM

    i am hear to give testimony of how i got back my husband, we got married for more than 2 years and have gotten two kids. thing were going well with us and we are always happy. until one day my husband started to behave in a way i could not understand, i was very confused by the way he treat me and the kids. later that month he did not come again and he called me that he want a divorce, I asked him what have i done wrong to deserve this from him, all he was saying that he want a divorce and that he hates me and do not want to see me again in his life, i was mad and also frustrated do not know what to do,i was sick for more than 2 weeks because of the divorce. i love him so much he was everything to me without him my life is incomplete. i told my sister and she told me to contact a spell caster, i never believe in all this spell casting of a thing. i just want to try if something will come out of it. I contacted Drehiaghe for the return of my husband to me, he told me that my husband have been taken by another woman that she cast a spell on him that is why he hates me and also want us to divorce. then he told me that he have to cast a spell on him that will make him return to me and the kids, he cast the spell and after 3 days my husband called me and he told me that i should forgive him, he settled to apologize on phone and said that he still love me that he did not know what happen to him that he left me. it was the spell that the Drehiaghe shrine casted on him that made him come back to me today,me and my family are now happy again today. thank you DR.ehiaghe for what you have done for me i would have been nothing today if not for your great spell. i want you my friends who are passing through this kind of love problem of getting back their husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend to contact ehiaghespellhome@gmail.com or call +2348104933655 and you will see that your problem will be solved.

  • Miley Edith on 2015-01-26 9:34:27 PM

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  • Frank on 2015-01-27 7:41:56 AM

    Unfortunately, all too true. Bank employees are under ALOT of pressure to upsell, cross sell and do what they have to do to succeed at it. Even Mortgage Specialists are expected to sell multiple insurances and if they don't they are written up and at risk of being told to pack it in. ALL the banks are like this. Lie to clients, mislead, misinform, etc. to get the sale. They say brokers are bad but at least our opinions are objective. Lets face it most branches have 22 year olds behind the desk. They know little to nothing, yet feel they have the right to slam brokers and their banks enable and encourage them to do so by constantly having the threat of job loss over their heads. Hands down, brokers or at least the good ones do a much better job than all the banks on helping clients. We're objective to say the least.
    Mr. Butler, you do deserve credit for always just calling a spade a spade and making some valid points...the Don Cherry of the broker world.

  • mrs jennifer on 2015-02-10 1:13:11 AM

    Hello my name is Mrs Jennifer i cannot hide this great testimony that take place in my life i will love every one to know it that is why i will always keep on sharing my testimony to every body in the forum on how this great powerful spell caster help me to bring back my husband that left me since nine month ago for another girl and also help me to get pregnant for him, it was a greatest surprise to me because i never believe i will get him back and also get pregnant, because we where married since over six years but we could not have a baby later on my husband started cheating on me, and left me for another girl, it break my heart i was confuse i do no what to do each day i cry and cry i try all my possible best to get him back but i could not, i contacted some spell caster but they could not solve my problem until a friend of mine introduce me to this great powerful spell caster i contacted him through mojuspiritualspelltemple@outlook.com i tell him all my problem he said he we help me but it was a greatest surprise to me my husband that left me since nine month ago, come back to me saying that i should forgive him and i was able to get pregnant for him it was just like a dream to me it was just the hand work of this powerful spell caster.advice if you have any kind of problem or difficulties that is disturbing you in life is for you to contact this powerful spell caster that can help you solve your problem, because he save mine mojuspiritualspelltemple@outlook.com

  • mrs jennifer on 2015-02-10 1:13:46 AM

    Hello my name is Mrs Jennifer i cannot hide this great testimony that take place in my life i will love every one to know it that is why i will always keep on sharing my testimony to every body in the forum on how this great powerful spell caster help me to bring back my husband that left me since nine month ago for another girl and also help me to get pregnant for him, it was a greatest surprise to me because i never believe i will get him back and also get pregnant, because we where married since over six years but we could not have a baby later on my husband started cheating on me, and left me for another girl, it break my heart i was confuse i do no what to do each day i cry and cry i try all my possible best to get him back but i could not, i contacted some spell caster but they could not solve my problem until a friend of mine introduce me to this great powerful spell caster i contacted him through mojuspiritualspelltemple@outlook.com i tell him all my problem he said he we help me but it was a greatest surprise to me my husband that left me since nine month ago, come back to me saying that i should forgive him and i was able to get pregnant for him it was just like a dream to me it was just the hand work of this powerful spell caster.advice if you have any kind of problem or difficulties that is disturbing you in life is for you to contact this powerful spell caster that can help you solve your problem, because he save mine mojuspiritualspelltemple@outlook.com

  • mrs jennifer on 2015-02-10 1:14:44 AM

    Hello my name is Mrs Jennifer i cannot hide this great testimony that take place in my life i will love every one to know it that is why i will always keep on sharing my testimony to every body in the forum on how this great powerful spell caster help me to bring back my husband that left me since nine month ago for another girl and also help me to get pregnant for him, it was a greatest surprise to me because i never believe i will get him back and also get pregnant, because we where married since over six years but we could not have a baby later on my husband started cheating on me, and left me for another girl, it break my heart i was confuse i do no what to do each day i cry and cry i try all my possible best to get him back but i could not, i contacted some spell caster but they could not solve my problem until a friend of mine introduce me to this great powerful spell caster i contacted him through mojuspiritualspelltemple@outlook.com i tell him all my problem he said he we help me but it was a greatest surprise to me my husband that left me since nine month ago, come back to me saying that i should forgive him and i was able to get pregnant for him it was just like a dream to me it was just the hand work of this powerful spell caster.advice if you have any kind of problem or difficulties that is disturbing you in life is for you to contact this powerful spell caster that can help you solve your problem, because he save mine mojuspiritualspelltemple@outlook.com

  • Peter Motem http://www.easyapproval.ca on 2015-02-10 9:14:26 AM

    Well this thread really jumped the shark when the disgruntled wife showed up...

  • elizaberthbarbara on 2015-03-10 12:42:22 AM

    my name is Elizaberth barbara brown I am from usa i want to testify to the world about a great man who has made it possible for me to have a child of my own after 8years of barrenness i have nothing but shame until a friend of mine introduced me to a great man by name Dr igbudu of
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  • Monica Brown on 2015-03-14 6:21:07 AM





    How I Got My Husband Back...........
    My Names is Monica Brown ,AM from United states .i never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster once when i went to Africa in June last year on a business summit i meet a man called Dr oyinbo, is powerful he could help you cast a spells to bring back my love s gone misbehaving lover looking for some one to love you bring back lost money and magic money spell or spell for a good job i m now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 4weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3 year i really loved him, but his mother was against me and he had no good paying job so when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him at first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try and in 6 days when i returned to taxes my boyfriend (is now my husband ) he called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married i didn’t believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid and my husband also got a new job and our lives became much better in case anyone needs the spell caster for some help his email address: prophetoyinbojesus@yahoo.com





  • chizzy on 2015-04-01 7:19:07 PM

    Hello I am CHIZZY PEACE ,I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when i meet a friend that introduce me to DR ADAGBA the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to Dr Adagba about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,In the next 2 days,My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact DR ADAGBA at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: adagbaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com. and get your problems solve like me..... ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: adagbaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com

  • chizzy on 2015-04-03 4:10:32 PM

    Hello I am CHIZZY PEACE ,I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how I got my ex love back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl last month, But when i meet a friend that introduce me to DR ADAGBA the great messenger to the oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to Dr Adagba about how my ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He only said to me that i have come to the right place were i will be getting my heart desire without any side effect.He told me what i need to do,After it was been done,In the next 2 days,My love called me on the phone and was saying sorry for living me before now and also in the next one week after my love called me to be pleading for forgiveness,I was called for interview in my desired company were i needed to work as the managing director..I am so happy and overwhelmed that i have to tell this to the entire world to contact DR ADAGBA at the following email address and get all your problem solve..No problem is too big for him to solve..Contact him direct on: adagbaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com. and get your problems solve like me..... ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: adagbaspiritualtemple@yahoo.com

  • cristina on 2015-05-09 5:01:15 PM

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  • clifford mary on 2015-05-19 5:04:36 PM

    I'm CLIFFORD MARY by name I have a few testimony to share with you all about myself, I was in a relationship with this guy and for 3years and we were about getting married when we both have misunderstanding with each other and he ask me for a divorce and we both agreed and after 4months I head that he was having an affair with one of my closest friend and I was very upset and worried so a friend of my advice me and told me if I still love my ex and if I really want to have him back so I told her yes, and she ask me to contact Dr. ALLI the spell caster and I did although I never believe on spell so he gave me something when he was casting the spell and ask me to say my wishes on it and after the casting of the spell a receive a phone call from my ex and was ask me at which I did and now we are back together again I'm so happy and I wish not to ever have this mistake again in my life. I will also advice anyone with this kind of issue to contact him for help he is really nice on phone and always there to answer you question giving you the good advice that you need. his email is ALLISPELLHELP@GMAIL.COM or you call +2348149158514

  • Benita on 2015-05-26 6:49:54 PM

    BEWARE OF THESE SCAMS!!! DR MALAIKA IS THE ONLY SPELL CASTER TO TRUST!
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    I never believed in spell casting but After 4 years of dating my hubby,
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    I almost committed suicide, i was emotionally down for a very long time.
    Thanks to Dr Malaika whom i met online after my friend Tracy told me about how he helped her.
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    I contacted him via email and explained my problems to him. In just 3 days, my Hubby came begging.
    We resolved our issues, and we are even happier than before, am pregnant now to God be the glory.
    Dr malaika is really a gifted man and i will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man...
    Come to think of it I didn't pay much and all I have to do is send him few dollars which he used
    in providing the materials used for the spell. Even my pastor said that God works mysteriously,
    that some men are used by God to help others. If you have a problem and you are looking for a real
    and genuine spell caster to solve all your problems for you. Contact Dr Malaika anytime,
    He is the answer to your problems. His contacts are (odogwumalaika@gmail.com), +2347065448120

  • robert sandra on 2015-06-13 12:23:04 AM

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  • Dr. Robert Jack on 2015-07-07 4:30:06 PM

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