Mortgage broker education in Ontario has devolved to a series of subjects focused on developing administrative proficiency rather than beefing up brokering skills, according to a mortgage professional and instructor for the provincially mandated course.
“I think FSCO’s intent was to make the program more accessible to a greater range of learners,” said Harry Singh, director of the Independent Mortgage Broker Association of Ontario, manager of business development for Equitable Trust and an instructor in the mortgage agent, and mortgage broker programs offered by Seneca College.
“However, the realigned focus does not provide students with enough tools for brokering.”
Seneca College has been the sole provider of the education program for licensing as a mortgage broker in the province for the past four year. However, the contract is up for renewal and FSCO has issued a Request for Proposal for a contract provider to offer the course.
The FSCO Web site states that the program consists of an online course of study and a period of in-class seminars followed by qualifying exams. “The five-day in-class seminars are offered at least once yearly at a location in Ontario where the demand is greatest,” FSCO said.
Recently MortgageBrokerNews.ca reported on plans by the Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association (AMBA), the Independent Mortgage Brokers Association of Ontario (IMBA) and the Mortgage Brokers Association of Atlantic Canada (MBAAC) to collaborate on supporting, educating and unifying the Canadian mortgage brokerage industry.
“Over the last few years, the bar to becoming a broker has been lowered to the point that many brokers are entering the field not fully prepared,” Singh said. “The program used to have a comprehensive apprenticeship component, now students are just required to have worked as a mortgage agent for at least 24 months.”
But a course content that is heavy on “management-type subjects” and lean on topics such as accounting, underwriting, business training, real-estate law and law pertaining to mortgages, worries Singh more.
“It looks like students are being trained to become managers and HR personnel rather than brokers,” said Singh.