“TDmortgagebroker.com” – the website of a TD mortgage specialist – has now been removed after MortgageBrokerNews.ca queried the unlicensed use of that name.
“I have no comment,” the Toronto-based mortgage specialist told MortgageBrokerNews.ca Friday.
Web users now entering that URL are redirected to the same site content, but with a different URL. And within hours of MortgageBrokerNews.ca contacting the mortgage specialist, the original URL had also been removed from Google search results for “TD and mortgage broker.” It is still, however, coming up in web searches for "TDMortgagebroker.com."
Nowhere else on the site does the mortgage specialist use the term “mortgage broker” to describe herself, instead relying on “mobile mortgage specialist” to sell her services as a TD employee. Her name is not in FSCO's database of licensed mortgage brokers and agents.
Any past or present “misappropriation” of the provincially regulated and licensed term “mortgage broker” is problematic, industry veterans told MortgageBrokerNews.ca.
“Well, they’re not a mortgage broker, but a mortgage specialist working for the bank,” said Nick Kyprianou, a veteran of the broker channel and CEO of Equity Financial Trust. “As soon as someone says 'I’m a mortgage broker,' they’re saying to their clients that they are going to get them the best and most appropriate mortgage for them through any lender, not just one. If I were CAAMP, I would investigate the use of the name ‘mortgage broker’ here.”
Under regulations enforced by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, use of the term mortgage broker by unlicensed parties is prohibited. That censure applies to all and any unlawful use of the term in marketing and advertising. Bank mortgage specialists are unregulated by FSCO, their use of “mortgage broker” prohibited.
This latest case may reignite broker concerns about mobile mortgage specialists, which banks have increasingly positioned as direct competitors to those independent players.
It also follows April’s controversy surrounding the leak of a promotional flyer produced by another mobile specialist, this one at RBC. The document, trading in stereotypes about the broker channel, purported to highlight the educational, philosophical and operational differences between brokers and bank-employed mortgage specialists. It effectively casts the former in a negative light.
That doesn’t appear to be the case with the TD specialist, who opted to use the title “mortgage broker” to help promote herself to clients.