Only 56 per cent of brokers have applied for license renewal

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Are we in for a major broker or agent cull or are mortgage professionals just procrastinators?

The latest data from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) points to a mere 56 per cent renewal rate among brokers leading up to the March 31 deadline to submit license renewal applications. That falls to 46 per cent for agents.

However, principal brokers are faring slightly better, with a reported 60 per cent already having submitted applications for renewal.

In 2012 – the last time brokers were up for relicensing – a mere 72 per cent of brokers had registered by the cut-off date. It remains to be seen if 2014 will report similar statistics.

According to an official release from FSCO: If the principal broker does not submit licence renewal applications for brokers and agents by March 31, 2014:

The mortgage brokers' and agents' licences will expire on March 31, 2014.
The mortgage brokers and agents will not be authorized to deal or trade in mortgages after March 31, 2014.
The mortgage brokers and agents will need to apply for a new licence and pay the new applicant fee, if they wish to conduct mortgage brokering activities.

See below for the most up to date stats.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-03-24 12:00:00 PM

    It's just plain funny, 7 days before the deadline and 40% of the people who actually operate the brokerages, the principal brokers, have not bothered to renew. We have to assume most brokerage operators will renew so it comes down not being organized enough to process the renewal in a businesslike manner. Why would any business person risk a suspension of registration by overloading the system at the last minute? If you were FSCO would they see this as a reflection of the way they those broker principals operate their businesses?

  • Steve Clark on 2014-03-24 12:27:42 PM

    Last year at this time I was hopeful there would be a "cull" and this year is no different. There are too many mortgage agents in Ontario. Although there is a renewal course, licensing, regulations and costs, the barriers to entry are way too low. If a mortgage agent licence was treated as a privilege earned and valued as such, the real professionals remaining will only strengthen the industry.

  • John Benstead on 2014-03-24 1:46:57 PM

    I completely agree with Steve Clark.

    There appears to be a total disconnect between the average agent and the simple idea of professionalism. I would love to know how much better, our industry, would be if the entry was severely raised by making the exam very much more difficult, as OREA did around 8 or so years ago.
    Our young and small brokerage is seriously considering changing our hiring practices, in order to have a little 'cull" of our own.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-03-24 1:53:19 PM

    We could pump up the exam and the course of study to Realtor levels but I am not totally sure it will create the professionalism we desire. Let's face it a great many new real estate agents are created every year and many do not survive the first 12 months. The quality of mortgage agents is mainly dictated by the quality of recruitment and the training post hire.

  • Christopher on 2014-03-24 2:01:12 PM

    I lost interest in the business after 37 years, including 10 as a bank lender. It was time for something completely different, for those of you who remember Monty Python's Flying Circus.

  • Kent Farnsworth on 2014-03-24 2:32:13 PM

    I would be interested in seeing the status after March 31st. Will you be posting a followup on this story?

  • Paolo Di Petta | on 2014-03-24 5:28:56 PM

    A bit from column A, a bit from column B - there's always a lot of last minute renewals, and there's always some drop-outs. I wonder what the final stats will be.

    RE: Steve/John - The OREA curriculum isn't exactly a high barrier of entry - we shouldn't be looking to them to build our system. We should probably look at more professional designations like Actuaries or Accountants where there's some real depth in the curriculum instead of a ton of fluff.

  • suresh pawaroo on 2014-03-25 11:02:34 AM

    There are two to look at this. 1) the mortgage broker channel is dying or 2) there was an over supply of mortgage agents.
    In my personal opinion there are three main reasons why fewer agents are renewing each year:
    1) The mortgage rules are getting more stringent, making it more difficult to get approvals
    2) the big six banks are aggressively hiring and growing their own sales forces, therefore increasing the competition
    3) the actual lenders themselves in the broker channel dont exactly make it easy for a new mortgage agent to do business with them. E.g. Scotia requires 5 mill per year, MCAP requires 2 deals per month etc. Well a new mortgage agent, even experienced once simply do not have the volume to stay in.

    Oh, I also forgot to add, that if you are not rich and dont have a lot of financial support, then you can't penetrate this biz.

    suresh p.

  • Sudip Adhikari @canmort on 2014-03-25 8:47:35 PM

    Market will correct itself. It is normal market cycle.
    I have been in the business for few years. It takes time and trials. You do not need backup from big brand lenders to score some deals. Just pay attentions to what client wants and what lenders (who ever you have access to) want.
    Pay attention to quality.

  • Blair Anderson on 2014-03-26 1:30:38 PM

    Question for all Ontario principal mortgage brokers: How do you like completing FSCO’s mandatory Annual Information Return (AIR)? FSCO’s interest in keeping stats on the kind of business we write continues to grow. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a stats guy and like to use spreadsheets. I use Excel to keep a database of all my deals and it is easy to automatically pull the information for any number of metrics, including the ones FSCO is interested in. Completing the aforementioned AIR takes no time at all. If you are interested, let me know, I am willing to sell, at a reasonable cost, a template of my spreadsheet for anyone to use. An intermediate level of proficiency in Excel is required.

    View the link below to see an example of the Summary worksheet, where you will find the FSCO stats, and a few more I added on. The template file comes with 4 integrated worksheets.


  • Ottawa Broker on 2014-03-26 3:10:32 PM

    The big question in seeing these numbers, is how many will continue to operate WITHOUT having renewed their licence with FSCO? will FSCO take a look at every agent and broker that did not renew to confirm they are not still operating?

  • Jake A on 2014-03-31 4:25:47 PM

    I find it funny the comments in here that attack those brokers & agents who have yet to renew their licences - comments being made BY brokers and agents who participate in rather murky transactions and marketing schemes.

  • Ron Butler on 2014-03-31 4:27:30 PM

    Stated like a true anonymous internet troll Jake.

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