FICOM to allow grace period

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B.C.-based brokers will soon have to disclose commission details to clients, but they will have time to adapt to the change.

“We anticipate the release of improvements to conflict of interest disclosure by no later than September 1, 2016,” the Financial Institutions Commission said in an industry update. “To ensure industry has sufficient time to adjust business processes and practices, we anticipate enforcement of the improved disclosure requirements to commence by no later than January 1, 2017.”

FICOM said it received over 70 submissions from industry stakeholders in response to its previously released open letter. It said it will continue to welcome feedback; brokers can do so via this email address.

The regulator said it plans to overhaul the disclosure form, with the intention of making it easier for both homebuyers and brokers to understand.
“To better enable brokers and brokerages to meet their disclosure obligations under the Act, the Registrar will introduce guidelines to assist completion of the prescribed Form 10,” FICOM said. “These guidelines will replace the current ‘enhanced Form 10’.

“This approach will address industry confusion about the existence of two Forms 10s and simplify the disclosure that consumers receive.”

FICOM reiterated its reasoning for requiring the new disclosure rule, saying there are a “wide variety of potential conflicts that a brokerage may need to disclose.”

“Industry has identified that consumers may require additional information to place compensation disclosure in context, for example, information about the compensation provided by different lenders,” FICOM said. “A better informed consumer is a shared goal of both industry and the regulator, and we encourage industry to continue to explore how industry can contribute to that shared goal.”

To read the update in its entirety, click here.

  • Frank Piersanti on 2016-05-02 10:44:03 AM

    how do you propose that major bank employees and mortgage specialists meet this new criteria? There is a direct hard and soft cost to this channel. Will that be identified?

  • Ron Butler on 2016-05-02 11:43:26 AM

    I would really like to see mortgage brokers stop going on and on about bank employees needing to have the same disclosure we must use. They are EMPLOYEES and their employers are responsible for their actions. This is a completely separate realm of law.

    We are independent brokers and we are regulated as such.

    To constantly make a false comparison diminishes our standing with regulators and the public.

  • Carlo on 2016-05-02 12:00:35 PM

    A meaningless MLS system, bidding wars, firm offers with NO Conditions is all ok, but lets disclose how much people are earning..Please, lets focus on the consumer with issues that have a real impact and be STANDARD on ALL purchase offers to include a 3 DAY Financing Condition..

  • Ontbroker on 2016-05-02 1:48:00 PM

    This will be an eye opener for a bunch of people if the super brokers are forced to disclose the access fees, aggregator bonuses, and other benefits paid by lenders to them.
    The currrent plan requires only the franchisee/DI to disclose their portion.
    Even if partial disclosure is acceptable to a regulator, it may not be acceptable to a supreme court judge in a class action suit.

  • race to the bottom on 2016-05-02 2:55:39 PM

    whats the big deal? Clients don't care what you make as long as they aren't the ones paying. 99% of clients care about two things, am I getting the best rate and will you get this deal done? That said I don't think this is going to benefit anyone...

  • MP on 2016-05-02 4:11:57 PM

    I believe it is up to the Broker to disclose to the client not the sub-broker. I feel that it should be adequate to post commissions on the Broker's website so that clients who are interested may go online and look up the information.

    We see this all the time in the financial industry. Clients are given a document with a link to download a disclosure document.

    It will be impossible for a sub broker to perfectly disclose the commission down to the penny.

  • BJ on 2016-05-04 10:15:13 AM

    Ron Butler - what if the broker is employed and on salary (a la True North)? Then what? By your logic then they shouldn't have to disclose?

    I don't understand your logic - what does it matter how a person or institution is paid (salary, commission, bonus). This is about "profitability" on the interest rate the client receives - how those profits are paid out is irrelevant.

  • Ron Butler on 2016-05-05 11:04:25 AM

    BJ, that was not "my logic". My point is simple. We have different regulators, Brokers and Banks and the employer of bankers are banks, regulated by the Feds. Our regulator is a different level of government and even when the mortgage agent is salaried the brokerage is owned by a (wait for it) Broker so our regulator calls the shots.

    More to the point all banks are public entities and as such we understand their profitability perfectly. Last year RBC had a $10 Billion profit and all their customers understand they helped to achieve that profit. That is transparency.

  • Tim on 2016-05-10 4:19:07 PM

    Ron Butler, I think we all are well aware of the fact that OSFI and FICOM are not one and the same - the problem is that FICOM has now decided to "serve the public interest" in a completely inconsistent way (which puts the Broker network at a huge disadvantage vis-a-vis the Banks).

    By your rationale, transparency would consist only of each franchise disclosing their annual profit annually - as with RBC's profit, it is completely abstract to the individual customer and they have no idea how much profit RBC makes on any individual mortgage. To someone looking for a mortgage what public interest is served by knowing RBC's annual profit?

    Which is the point - it is hard to imagine that the lack of consistency will serve to do anything other than drive customers to the big banks. The Banks in Canada have a long history of crushing outsiders when they start to encroach on their turf - it's difficult to see this as anything different.

  • Hugo Deen on 2016-05-10 4:31:45 PM

    Blah blah blah I have the loudest voice and am always right.

  • Jace Lane on 2016-05-12 10:55:48 AM

    Tim.... I have to say well said. It does speak to Ron's point. I understand we are all regulated by different bodies... but (wait for it) why if we are offering the same product. Why shouldn't the employees of the banks be held in the same standard if they are offering the same product, as many of them are also on commission and not salary.

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