ING departure teaches hard lesson, say brokers

ING departure teaches hard lesson, say brokers

ING departure teaches hard lesson, say brokers

Now that ING has officially left the channel, brokers remember a company that was great to work with – but also one that has taught them a valuable lesson.

“Once bitten, twice shy,” says Senor VP of Mortgage Architects Alice Chan, about brokers putting too many of their eggs in one lender’s basket. “We already have 20 per cent of our business with Scotia, and we try not to concentrate our business with one lender. Who knows who’s next?”

One of ING’s first clients was Mortgage Architects, which was part of their loyalty program.

“We were very surprised by it (when ING announced they were leaving the channel),” says Chan. “We had dealt with them for five years. It meant we had to reshuffle our strategy, and look at the new niche lenders coming into the market.

“We learned the hard way -- don’t concentrate on one lender.”

ING’s parent company Scotia announced ING Direct would be leaving the mortgage channel on January 16, after Scotia bought the company for $3.15 billion the previous year. ING was Canada’s seventh largest mortgage broker lender, officially closing up shop on February 16.

“We had a good, long relationship with ING,” says Dan Eisner, CEO of True North Mortgage. “We were submitting deals to ING right up to the end, and those will be transferring to Scotia. Scotia is a good institution.”

When ING entered the channel some seven years ago, True North and Eisner watched the lender grow for a couple of years before starting a relationship that lasted five years.

“They grew with us, we fit well culturally,” says Eisner. “There were a lot of good people there. They will be missed.”

At least some of that business is now going to TD Canada Trust.

"ING was a good chunk of my business, the majority of my clients were sent there,” says Ryan Walchuk, a mortgage agent with True North in Calgary. “Now I deal with TD Canada Trust. They are very quick, very efficient on the loans I present to them.”