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Will OSFI changes go too far?

Many in the mortgage industry, both brokers and lenders, are now awaiting to hear if OSFI will implement some or all of the B-20 guidelines announced earlier this year and whether there will be any changes to these rules that could have a major impact on the lending landscape. Pacific Mortgage CEO and Mortgage Summit panelist Ron Swift says many of the proposals go too far and may do more harm than good to the market.

Video transcript below:

Mortgage Summit speaker, Ron Swift discusses the potential impact of the OSFI guidelines on the mortgage industry.
Ron Swift, CEO, Pacific Mortgage
Ron Swift:  I think the OFSI B-20 guidelines I think are overkill for the Canadian marketplace.  You know, once again I like to base my numbers or my changes and views based on numbers, not based on, you know there seems to be a government sentiment around, we have got too much debt and we got too many, you know we got a housing bubble, those kind of things.  So let’s look at the numbers and the numbers suggest Canadian lenders are prudent today and I think that some of the pieces of the new legislation or proposed legislation are not necessarily [good] in Canada. An example would be renewals.  The suggestion in this would be that we would have to re-qualify consumers at renewal.
Now think about that, when you qualify them upfront, guy makes payments for 5 years, never misses a beat, we then to re-qualify him again and potentially doesn’t meet whatever the new standards are today at that time.  We now say, sorry, you no longer qualify to have a mortgage, get out.  So you know if we are trying to really manage the real estate market, is there a housing bubble, is there not, if we are trying to move towards hopefully a soft landing, implementing sort of overstated and overreached policies from what’s really happening in Canada, I think will not get us a soft landing, but potentially a hard one and I just don’t think that’s the way to run the business.  Run it by the numbers, not because of what we feel.
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