Mortgage Broker Industry Council Update
| May 24, 2022
Summary of activities since February 2022 from Clarence Lee, Chair
Thank you to everyone who took part in the Spring Engagement Session on May 5, and in the Broker Forum in Edmonton on May 17. It was great to engage with a diverse group of licensees, and I look forward to engaging with more of you at the Calgary Broker Forum on May 26.
If you missed the engagement session, you can view the recording on RECA’s YouTube channel.
As an Industry Council responsible for setting the standards of practice for the mortgage brokerage industry in Alberta, it is vitally important that we hear from the licensees we regulate. Three of the five Industry Council members are practicing licensees, including myself, Paul Bojakli Vice Chair and Gord Appel, but we need to get the full picture of the issues and concerns going on province-wide, and thanks to the dedicated and passionate licensees who participate in these engagement sessions and provide feedback to consultations, we can feel confident in our decision-making for the regulation of the industry.
What we heard at these sessions was that private lending is an area where there continues to be a lot of activity, but not a lot of rules. This is one section where the Industry Council will be focusing on to ensure those who deal with private lenders are competent to do so, and that consumers who use private lenders are best protected.
Another area we heard concern with was with the Rules for incentives. Concerns about incentives and advertising incentives is nothing new, and will be something that the Industry Council considers as we go through the comprehensive Rules review I’ll talk about more below.
As you are all aware, the RECA Board is undertaking consultation on proposed strategic priorities. These priorities will inform a detailed business and strategic plan, to be approved by the Board at their July meeting. The Mortgage Broker Industry Council was consulted heavily by the Board in preparing these proposed priorities. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to let the Board know what you think of the proposed priorities through the survey on reca.ca. The deadline to contribute is June 9.
One of the largest parts of the proposed strategic priorities is a comprehensive review of the Real Estate Act Rules. The Rules haven’t been fully reviewed since their implementation in October 2006. Things have certainly changed in the mortgage world since then, and a review of where the Rules continue to make sense, or not make sense, is certainly in order.
This review will be completed in phases over the next two years, beginning this Summer.
As I mentioned, we’ve heard from stakeholders that the mortgage sector has particular concerns with private lending and with advertising and incentives. So please be on the lookout for when the consultation opens for the first phase of the Rules review. The hope is that the Industry Councils and the Board can immediately deal with some low hanging fruit in need of updating in the Rules before the end of the calendar year, and we’ll need your feedback to ensure we get things right.
It was thanks to all of you providing comprehensive feedback to the mortgage licensee competencies late last year that we were able to move ahead so quickly with education divestment. RECA, including the Mortgage Broker Industry Council, has set June 1, 2022 as the divestment date. RECA will stop enrolling new licensees in its Fundamentals of Mortgage Brokerage and Mortgage Brokers Program courses, and will hand that function over to recognized third-party course providers. Associations, universities, and colleges have all expressed interest and are developing licensing courses for the mortgage sector. Things are changing rapidly with course providers, so please go to RECA’s website for the latest information on which providers are recognized.
Thank you again to all the licensees who have taken part in consultations and in engagement sessions. Please know that we at the Industry Council take your feedback seriously, and hope to engage further, and often, for all decisions and matters within the Industry Council’s scope.
In closing, self-regulation is a privilege and we all have a stake in the future of our industry! I want to thank RECA management for their tireless efforts to assist in our goal in making the Mortgage Brokerage Industry the best it can be!