Players call for level playing field

Players call for level playing field

Players call for level playing field Those partners are anything but cooperative, according to some industry players recently frustrated by having access to specific bank product blocked. That’s even as banks get more desperate for volume to compensate for tighter margins.

“Lender banks are our partners and they compete against us and it’s just not fair,” Walid Hammami, a Montreal-based broker with Dominion Lending Centres, told “They offer certain products in-house that they don’t offer us.”

Hammami recalls a time recently when one bank denied him the ability to offer a home equity line of credit that the bank limited to its branches and road reps.

 “And there is no reason for that; the only reason they do this is to give themselves an advantage,” he said.

Of course, banks are free to choose which channels to offer their products in, especially as super-low rates are cutting into margins and lenders are fighting to maintain profitability. But brokers argue a show of good faith would only help to solidify partnerships.

And not all brokers have had the same experience.

“The only big bank I deal with is Scotia and they offer a wide variety of products through the broker channel,” Michael Jones of Centum Core Financial Inc., told “The only thing they don’t do is commercial deals; but if a client walks into the branch the bank will do them.”

The feedback will surely be welcome by big bank lenders, who will be rated by their broker partners once again in this year’s CMP Brokers on Lenders survey.

Brokers have the chance to evaluate the three major big bank players in the space – ScotiaBank, TD Bank, and National Bank – along with various monoline lenders. This year will also highlight alternative lenders, which will provide a deeper understanding of just how much brokers rely on Alt-A deals in the current environment.

Click here to take part and have your say. is awaiting responses reps at the three banks regarding which specific products are offered in-house only.