Standardized broker practices, education eyed by regulators’ council

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The Mortgage Broker Regulators' Council of Canada (MBRCC) has put country-wide industry-practice and broker-education standards on the top of its agenda, but the intricacies of a professional designation that addresses the long-simmering broker-bank rep issue will have to be tackled on a province-by-province basis.

“We will be addressing the development of competency standards and curriculum requirements for brokers across the country,” Kirk Bacon, chair of the MBRCC, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “But issues like broker designation being used by bank representatives are legislation matters typically handled by provincial jurisdictions.”

MBRCC members represent the nine provinces that currently have legislative and regulatory frameworks governing mortgage brokers or have an interest in developing one.

In recent months, mortgage professionals have called on their associations to use their clout to stop road reps from calling themselves “brokers.” Many brokers also feel that standards of broker education programs have fallen behind.

A standardized broker education curriculum does not mean the creation of a single body providing broker courses across the country, said Bacon.

“We want to set curriculum standards for the industry, actual delivery will still be up to the individual regulators to decide,” he said.

The MBRCC is focused on establishing a forum for the industry’s regulators to harmonize regulator practices and improve consumer protection.

“Currently there are some things in the broker industry that are allowed in one province but not in another,” he said. “A harmonized practice can provide consumers with a standard to base their expectations regarding brokers’ competency and performance.”

Bacon also said the council has received feedback from various broker associations on the MBRCC’s proposed broker education curriculum standards and will likely reveal the results in December.

  • Paolo Di Petta | dipettamortgage.com on 2012-11-01 7:22:38 AM

    “But issues like broker designation being used by bank representatives are legislation matters typically handled by provincial jurisdictions.” - sounds a lot like he's sidestepping the issue there and passing the buck.

    The fact is - unless these organizations actually use their clout to defend their member's interests, then they're really not providing value. You can't elevate the agent/broker designations without first differentiating them.'

    It seems like they like to walk the line between educator and trade association, but only when it's convenient for them. In the interest of being reputable, they need to decide which side of the line they're on.

    On a related note, I was actually disappointed to see CAAMP get the Ontario Mortgage Broker course. Let's try to avoid the same trap that the Real Estate industry is in with fluffy courses that only serve to fill credit requirements and line the pockets of these professional organizations.

    If anything, we should be pushing education BACK towards unbiased institutions like Colleges and Universities (instead of taking them away from institutions like Seneca).

    I'm all for education - but it really should be done in a more credible environment. Engineers and Doctors don't earn degrees at their trade associations - they earn proper degrees at accredited institutions. That's one of the main reasons we trust them.

  • David O'Gorman CPMB on 2012-11-01 11:34:08 PM

    MBRCC- FYI- There are 10 provinces & three territories in Canada- All have different laws & regulations relative to mortgage brokerage, land registration, priority of claims, credit bureaus,remedies for default & the list could go on. GDSR & TDSR are the same everywhere, other than that there are significant provincial & regional differences in this country relative to mortgages & mortgage brokerage. This homogeneous Nirvana that is being sought seems to serve only the best interests of the chartered banks, national brokers & CAAMP, certainly not the best interests of the mortgage brokers of Canada.
    As to Mr. Di Petta's comments about real estate courses & community colleges. I do not seeMr. Di Petta's name on the RECO roster, so I can only assume he has never taken real estate courses in Ontario, or he did not complete the courses, so his credibility as to making comments about the "fluffiness" of real estate courses is questionable. I would put the standard of formal education of real estate registrants
    in Ontario up against any in North America. Their 300+ hours of education & six exams sure beats the hell out of the "5 Day Wonder" courses currently approved in Ontario for mortgage agents.
    As to community colleges in Ontario, not so much.Twelve years ago I wrote to our then Superintendent of FSCO about students being threatened by community college instructors with not being allowed to register with FSCO, with racist comments in the class room. Instructors padding the curriculum ,so that they taught ( & were paid) for more hours in subject areas where the time in that subject area was unnecessary. Ask students who took the mortgage agents & brokers courses about the unequal skills & the lack of monitoring of instructors at the college & the bureaucratic "speed" with which these concerns were addressed. There is no doubt in my mind that the Ontario mortgage broker industry is significantly better off without the college affiliation.
    Is CAAMP the right entity to provide that education, only time will tell. Now how CAAMP spins/justifies the expense of operating this program with declining enrolment to their members in other provinces will be interesting to watch.

  • Paolo Di Petta | dipettamortgage.com on 2012-11-02 2:53:17 AM

    Actually, I've completed all of the Pre-registration courses, and am on my way to get licensed with RECO as well.

    The Pre-registration courses WERE thorough, and if you look carefully, they weren't what I had an issue with. I was talking about SOME of the continuing education courses.

    My point wasn't that ALL continuing education is worthless - quite the contrary - continuing education IS important. That being said, I've sat in on some CE courses (as a guest, not enrolled for the credits) and was astonished that they even count for any credits.

    Continuing education IS important, but we should focus on the QUALITY, not the QUANTITY. There's no doubt that a trade association with fingers in both pies is going to use their clout to create fluffy curricula to add to their own bottom line. That's why I support unbiased institutions who have no other interests in the industry.

  • Kirk Bacon on 2012-11-02 3:07:12 AM

    The MBRCC is an inter-jurisdictional association of mortgage broker regulators that seeks to improve and promote harmonization of mortgage broker regulatory practices in a way that serves the public interest. Its members work together and with stakeholders to identify trends and address common regulatory issues through national solutions that support consumer protection and an open and fair marketplace.

    Mortgage broker regulators are seeking to become more effective and efficient by working together rather than duplicating efforts. Input from industry professionals and associations have clearly indicated that the practice standards across the country are not harmonized or do not exist. The Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) promotes labour mobility and requires a high degree of coordination between regulators to address the goals of achieving common occupational, practice and education standards and removing barriers to be become licensed in more than one jurisdiction. Reciprocity agreements for mortgage brokers to become licensed in other jurisdictions already exist between British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

    The new organization will serve to establish standards to protect consumers to build trust and confidence in industry professionals, promote the professionalism of industry professionals and provide a vehicle for industry stakeholders to provide input.
    To review tHe MBRCC Strategic Plan go to: http://www.fsco.gov.on.ca/en/about/Documents/MBRCC-Strategic-Plan-2012-2015.pdf

  • len lane on 2012-11-02 4:25:48 AM

    I have to say its about time as one brokerage that is licensed in 5 jurisdictions as well as personally licensed. There is no consistency in document requirement, education or fee structures. I'm looking forward to seeing what changes will be brought about.

  • Michael Cameron on 2012-11-02 5:03:47 AM

    Guys, you are missing the point. This is our provincial regulators working together to come up with national unity. We should stand up and take note. We need more collaboration as an industry not less.
    I'm a little embarrassed that our regulators can get themselves together where we as an industry seem to fail.

    Please take the time to learn what this really is. Press release including a link to their strategic plan can be found here http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/1061491/provincial-regulators-partner-to-increase-consumer-protection-and-improve-mortgage-broker-standards

  • John Dearin RPA,. AMP. on 2012-11-02 9:49:26 PM

    I don't see anything working in the sense of credibility with the public (let alone ourselves) until a national association brings a realistic national education course and a national exam to the table. I should have confidence in referring a client to another broker in another province based on their designation.
    Our provincial (NL) legislation is a joke. Agents are not licenced/registered/accountable at all. A person released from prison can walk into the government with $300.00 and get a broker’s licence and hang out a brokerage shingle. I have emailed the finance department here a number of times with no response. I know at least one of the other brokers here has done the same. We both quit trying.
    We need national education standards, licencing and enforcement. And we need it years ago.

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