No such thing as 'employee pricing' mortgages?

No such thing as 'employee pricing' mortgages?

No such thing as The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) made headlines Tuesday with its “employee pricing" mortgage offering but brokers are far from convinced that such a product exists.

“Personally I think it’s marketing because I have done mortgages for RBC employees in the past,” David Skinner, a Nova Scotia-based broker with TMG The Mortgage Group told “One of the RBC (employees) got in trouble for giving my card to clients as a referral.”

Being billed as the same rates offered to employees and drawing similarities to employee-priced car offerings that dealers often offer, RBC’s move is being viewed as a strategic play in the increasingly hot mortgage wars.

It’s also a first for any bank, according to an RBC rep.

“This is a first for RBC, and a first for the big banks,” Sean Amato-Gauci, senior vice-president of home equity financing at RBC told the Financial Post. “Home buying season is competitive and cluttered, and it’s not just rates that get you noticed.”

Regardless, brokers took to the comments section to discuss the merits of the offering offering.

“This is a very simple promotion: 2.99 per cent five year and 2.79 per cent Four Year,” Ron Butler of Verico Butler Mortgage wrote. “Regular (all the frills) RBC product with a 120 hold for purchases; a better product than the BMO offering which has expired. In many ways a quite competitive quality offering.”

One anonymous Royal Bank employee even joined the fracas to dispel some of the misconceptions.

“There are no negative tax implications related to this offering at this time for employees,” the commenter wrote. “As Ron Butler indicated, this offering is far superior than that of BMO, and the rates are very competitive (if not better) to those rates in the broker market (save for "bought down" specials).”

RBC offers ‘employee pricing’ mortgages