The Mortgage Revolution is gaining momentum, with the man behind the grassroots campaign pointing to a Calgary meeting bringing together mortgage professionals and lenders to address industry shortcomings and challenges.
“We had a full house of mortgage brokers who truly care about our ‘channel’ and want to make a difference,” said Axiom Mortgage Solutions CEO Mike Cameron, pointing to the July 19 meeting. “As brokers, we need to take responsibility for our distribution channel. The key message from the sessions was that ‘It all starts with you’, and ‘It’s time to speak up and start talking about the issues’ and ‘It’s time to say no more.’”
That event, the second in what Cameron has dubbed The Mortgage Revolution , mirrored the first with its candid conversation on ethical and integrity challenges facing brokers. More specifically, speakers like past AMBA president Gary Siegle explored the need to move beyond selling rate, while others voiced concerns about accountability and the need for greater communication between competing brokers.
Discussion also touched on the importance of lobbying for the regulation of bank mortgage specialists, said Cameron.
“This one came up and RECA conceded that this is on their radar, and there will be a discussion paper coming out on this issue,” he said. “My understanding is that legislation needs to change for this to happen, but it appears we are making an impact.”
Brokers also bandied about the idea of developing a marketing fund to create better consumer awareness about mortgage professionals.
“We discussed the possibility of taking one basis point per deal to allocate to a broker awareness campaign,” said Cameron. “I think it is a positive concept but we need to improve the product before we advertise it.”
The Calgary discussion, which drew Street Capital’s Paul Grewal and AMBA President Paul Bojakli, helped steel Alberta brokers now grappling with an increasingly competitive market and fears of a price correction like that experienced in 2007/8. Values have yet to bounce back to pre-recession levels, something that may have exacerbated integrity and ethical lapses, argue some brokers.
“We ‘the good guys’ need to band together and say ‘there’s no room for unethical behaviour in our industry,’” Cameron said.