The man tasked with reviewing the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 (MBLAA) has presented his recommendations to Ontario’s Minister of Finance; with higher educational standards for agents and brokers among his chief objectives.
“Given the importance of this topic, I recommend that the Superintendent work with the industry to raise education requirements and improve their delivery systems,” Steven Del Duca, MPP and parliamentary assistant wrote to the Ontario Minister of Finance Charles Sousa. “This would include expanding the content of the courses, especially with regard to fraud prevention. In developing enhanced education requirements, due regard should be given to promoting inter-jurisdictional harmonization, where appropriate.”
Throughout 2013, several brokers and industry organizations met with Del Duca to provide their own recommendations. And it seems he listened; an underlying theme was the need for updated educational standards to ensure a higher ethical and professional standard across the industry.
“Many stakeholders advocated for improvements to the mandatory education requirements for mortgage agents and brokers, including broadening and deepening the subject areas covered by these courses, as well as increasing the length of time required to complete the courses,” Del Duca wrote. “Some suggested compulsory continuing education on an annual basis instead of the current requirement based on the two-year licensing renewal cycle.”
Del Duca also mentioned brokers have called for introducing a probationary period for new brokers and an increased focus on fraud prevention within all broker training courses.
Rounding out his suggestions for improved education, Del Duca called for FSCO’s course provider audits to be made public.
“The Superintendent should also give consideration to other suggestions from the sector, such as whether there should be multiple course providers for the mortgage broker course,” Del Duca wrote. “Finally, I recommend that the results of FSCO’s course provider audits be made public and that course providers for both the agent and broker education courses have the same requirement with regard to maintaining errors and omissions insurance.”