Role for brokers in review of Ont. act.

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It won`t likely be an engraved invitation – or a day in court – but Ontario brokers can expect some opportunity to share their beefs with FSCO during a five-year review of the legislation.

“Brokers are always free to communicate their concerns directly to the superintendent of financial services,” Elliott Katz, a senior policy analyst with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, told “But there will be an opportunity to give comment as part of the review.”

No exact date or timetable has been set for the five-year review of the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act of Ontario, although many of the province’s brokers are already gearing up to participate.

Under the legislation – used as a model by other provinces looking to better regulate their own mortgage broker industry – the commission must “within five years” of it coming to force “appoint one or more persons to review the operation of this Act and the regulations and to make recommendations to the Minister.”

The same legislation lays out a role for the public and, by extension, the industry.

“When conducting a review, the appointees shall solicit the views of the public,” reads the Act. “The Minister shall make the recommendations of the appointees available to the public.”

The views of brokers is varied on the legislation, although many are now lobbying for some tweaks to key sections such as mortgage suitability, training and advance fees.

The change in direction they want FSCO to take on those issues is just as varied, with many brokers, for example, looking for the regulator to remove any onus on their part to ensure the mortgage best matches the client’s needs. Others want to see suitability better defined, and perhaps strengthened.

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