Manulife will soon offer its products through the mortgage broker channel, and brokers are wondering what – if any – advantages the partnership will provide.
“If it it fills a niche it’s going to be a positive,” Daniel Lewczuk, a mortgage agent with Dominion Lending Centres
Parato Mortgage Group, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I’ve compared the Manulife One product to other products we can already offer and the differences seemed negligible; I saw some advantages of the offerings already available in the channel.”
Canadian Mortgage Trends originally reported that Manulife Financial will enter the broker channel in 2016 and offer brokers the ability to offer its Manulife One and Manulife Select mortgages. Brokers will only have access to Manulife Select’s high ratio offering at launch time.
It’s the first major move by the institution in the broker channel since it announced the acquisition of Benesure in early 2013.
That positioned Manulife as Canada's largest provider of mortgage insurance solutions for mortgage brokers, “with revenue premiums in excess of $65 million,” MortgageBrokerNews.ca reported at the time.
Even then, Manulife hinted at originating mortgages through the broker channel.
Anytime the broker channel draws a new lending partner is a positive, especially one as well-known as Manulife.
However, the Manulife products, at least to start, will reportedly only be available to a select group of brokers.
“We want to make it a bit more of an exclusive club to deal with Manulife,” Jeff Spencer, vice president, retail sales, Manulife Bank and Trust, told CMT.
Brokers will reportedly have to take a 2-3 hour training course prior to offering the bank’s products, which may seem off-putting to some.
“That would probably put me off; I’m getting up there in age and don’t want to spend my time on any new training,” Bob Barlow, a broker with Verico
One Link Mortgage, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “But the more products we can offer gives us an advantage.”
According to the initial report, the bank will offer competitive compensation for brokers and it will outsource its underwriting to a yet unnamed player.
MortgageBrokerNews.ca has contacted a Manulife rep and will provide updates as they become available.