Make room, IMBA, AMBA and MBABC: there’s a new provincial mortgage broker association in Canada, and it’s focused on four provinces grappling to promote tighter regulation and facing their own brand of lending challenges.
“The MBAAC – Mortgage Brokers Association of Atlantic Canada – is a completely independent association,” said President Glen Ward, also regional VP for Mortgage Architects in Atlantic Canada. “We launch next week and will draw membership from not only mortgage brokers but lenders, insurers – basically anybody who is a part of our industry.”
The idea of a professional association for the region, mirroring those in Ontario and the West, has been kicked around for years, said Ward, who “received positive feedback from brokers and decided to go ahead with it.” He also drew on the support of those other provincial organizations.
Development has been a year in the making, with an appointed board of directors now in place for the independent association. Those mortgage professionals will be replaced with an elected board in 2013, said Ward, a financial services veteran and a licensed broker for the last five years.
Part of the group’s mandate is to grow the number of those regulated mortgage professionals across the Atlantic region.
Currently, only Ward’s province, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland license brokers. New Brunswick and PEI are being encouraged to move in the same direction, although many brokers in all four jurisdictions want to see the industry more tightly regulated.
“Currently there is no educational component to licensing in any of the four provinces,” said Ward. “Our goal, as an association, is to provide a voice for the industry with government regulators.”
While MBAAC will count lenders among its members – offering both a broker membership level and one for other channel partners – it may, in fact, need to take up broker concerns around access to funding.
Mortgage professionals outside Halifax and other metropolitan centres point to some lender reluctance to fund deals in rural areas. Minimum volume requirements, given lower home prices, is another point of contention.
In other parts of the country, potential conflicts between brokers and their lenders are now stirring calls for a national association with an exclusively broker membership. MBAAC opted not to go in that direction.
“Our goal is be inclusive of all parts of our industry,” he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca.
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