Lenders to divide up FirstLine spoils, says veteran

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Lenders have already begun to court brokers with well-established ties to FirstLine, but it’s unlikely any one of them will win most of that business, says a respected veteran, arguing four big players will initially divide the spoils.

Scotia, First National, Street and MCAP should benefit about equally,” said Ron Butler, of VERICO Butler Mortgage Inc. “It is very unlikely that one of the four would instantly take over the bulk of the FirstLine share. It’s just very logistically difficult for one to dominate immediately.”

That isn’t to say they haven’t already tried. 

Some of FirstLine’s biggest broker partners now tell MortgageBrokerNews.ca they have been inundated with calls and emails from channel executives  from competing lenders since news broke last month that CIBC was moving to shutter FirstLine.

The development comes on the heels of failed talks that would have seen the big bank sell the mono-line to another broker channel lender even as it actively sought to convert clients to CIBC.

Brokers determined to hang onto those clients at renewal, and FirstLine competitors are anxious to forge primary relationships with those brokers as a way of winning their continuing business.

Four lenders are likely to divvy up that business, said Butler, although there is room for one of them to seize a bigger share.

“If service levels are about equal, rate pricing will play a bigger role as the months tick by,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “Within two quarters, we may see one of the top four make gains over the others.”

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