is effectively asking the B.C. government to tinker with the province’s Mortgage Brokers Act, some brokers are calling for a complete overhaul, one that clearly places brokers at the reins.
“The entire act needs to be modernized,” says Sandy Higgins, the president and owner of The Mortgage Centre Island Properties. “The mortgage industry is interested in developing as a profession and looking for legislative change that permits mortgage brokers in British Columbia to define their own standards and increase the level of self-regulation.”
CAAMP issued a statement on the MBA discussion paper, stating that self-regulation has merit.
“An important issue is whether the focus of any legislation will be on the mortgage broker channel, which includes originators and lending activities, (such as) a mortgage administrator license or whether it will primarily focus on being a piece of legislation that covers only originators,” says CAAMP.
According to CAAMP’s numbers, mortgage brokers account for roughly 25 per cent of mortgage distribution across Canada, except for B.C. where the total is higher.
Another province with a discussion paper out is Alberta, which is examining the role of MICs and private lenders.
“Alberta, with its current discussion paper is headed d own a road where it will relinquish responsibility for regulating not only Mortgage Investment Corporations, but potentially private lending as well,” states CAAMP. “Ontario and Saskatchewan on the other hand have legislation that provides for the ability to regulate lending activities.”
CAAMP cautions that “before a decision on the regulatory framework is made, B.C. sub brokers should be clear about what the governing body will do, what powers it will have and what it will cost.”
CAAMP has offered to assist B.C. in any such review, citing its experience in mortgage research.
One of the recommendations made to the provincial government is to have tiered licensing, in common with other provinces. These would consist of a brokerage license (company), a broker license (operational person or key regulatory contact), a sub-broker (associate or agent license) and an administrator license (for flexibility).
CAAMP has 1,650 members in British Columbia, with 12,000 members nationwide. B.C. is the second-largest mortgage broker channel province with some 3,300 licensees.