ING’s trick or treat?

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Depending on whom you ask, ING’s new volume pooling rules – all but identical to Scotia’s – may be a trick or a treat.

Those who see the revised guidelines as encouraging efficiency without resorting to commission cuts view the move as a treat. But for others, it’s the first sign ING will ultimately lose its product and policy independence following its acquisition by Scotia. Make no mistake, say some brokers, that would be a trick.

“The new rules actually mirror the ones we follow with our Scotia BRM (broker relationship manager) system,” Lane told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I would think that ING is morphing into Scotia.”

Yesterday, ING introduced new guidelines that in effect cap the number of agents who can submit transactions under one broker. The new rules also stipulate that pooling agents must be operating in the same region or province as the submitting agent.

Brokers have largely embraced the changes, but it’s the underlying message that has many worried.

“ING’s new pooling guidelines will actually benefit businesses like ours,” said Ron Dyck mortgage specialist for Tudor Mortgage in Nanaimo, B.C. “Unfortunately, it means ING is turning into Scotia and that’s bad for the industry because it means our clients lose out on lender options.”

The innovative ING may soon be hard to tell from its new owner, which recently elected to cut broker commissions on five-year deals.

“It’s unavoidable for ING to lose independence,” he said. “When two businesses become one, the more powerful entity gains the upper hand.”

Lane, for whom 30 per cent of transactions are funded by Scotia, said the bank’s volume pooling system actually works pretty well.

“It limits the volume of that goes to the underwriter and that’s fine with us because it encourages agents to submit transactions that have a higher likelihood of approval,” he said.

  • Don C on 2012-11-02 7:59:50 AM

    I have no problem limiting the number of agents under a pooling system, provided the Lenders also understand that "streaming" or "hub" desks in those larger houses are cut as well. They are in effect pools... no matter what they say.

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