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National Certification For Canadian Mortgage Brokers

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 09 December 2003 00:00

As Canada's professionals plan for their futures, licensing mobility has become an issue in many industries, including finance and real estate. The Canadian Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders (CIMBL) , the 5000 member organization that represents major mortgage industry stakeholders, joins the trend by promoting national certification and registration for its members.

According to CIMBL's supporter, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the results of the fifth annual CMHC survey on the shopping behaviours of Canadian mortgage consumers support this trend: “more than eighty per cent of consumers agree, when asked, that mortgage professionals in Canada should be nationally certified and registered." The survey based on a national probability sample of 1,500 active mortgage consumers, completed by CIMBL is sponsored and managed for CIMBL by CMHC.

"CMHC is pleased to be working with Canada's mortgage industry to better understand today's mortgage consumer," noted Karen Kinsley, CMHC President. "This survey provides a unique perspective on consumer perceptions, behaviours and expectations when getting, renewing, or refinancing a mortgage and will help the industry to better meet the mortgage financing needs of Canadians."

Michael Beckette, President of CIMBL added, "This key survey on emerging consumer trends in our industry enables us to respond effectively to our clients' needs. For example, 27 per cent of mortgage consumers arrange a mortgage in their home, either face-to-face with a mortgage professional or over the phone."

The 2003 survey also highlights consumer trends towards savvy comparison shopping:

  • Among first-time buyers use of the Internet as a source for mortgage-related information jumped to 58 per cent from 44 per cent in 2002.

  • Almost 40 per cent of home buyers do not automatically remain with their current lender.

  • Sixty-nine per cent of consumers are pre-approved for financing, and while the majority arranged only one pre-approval, growing numbers of consumers were pre-approved by two institutions (16 per cent) and by three or more (14 per cent).

  • One-quarter of home buyers rely on mortgage brokers to arrange their mortgage financing. The use of mortgage brokers is particularly strong among first-time buyers where 30 per cent report using a broker. Mortgage brokers also arranged financing for 15 per cent of homeowners who refinanced their home.

    The $500 billion Canadian mortgage industry is taking steps to develop a formal accreditation process for its members, ultimately leading to the designation -- Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) which will be overseen by CIMBL.

    "Accreditation is a logical and necessary step as the mortgage industry seeks to become self-regulating," said 2003-04 CIMBL President Colin Dreyer. "When Financial services regulators are considering industry self-regulation, they want to ensure that there is adequate consumer protection in the form of professional qualifications and enforcement of ethical standards."

    The accreditation program is seen as an important step in harmonizing mortgage industry standards across Canada through:

  • Development and standardization of mortgage industry licensing courses; and

  • Mandatory participation in professional development programs and ongoing continuing education.

    Will this national overhaul also generate higher standards for mortgage arranging across Canada and create greater recourse for consumers if problems arise?

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