November 25th, 2014

Economist Roundtable Takeaways

CAAMP’s Economic Roundtable on Monday covered a gamut of mortgage issues — from rate projections to regional housing performance to lending regulations.

Sharing their opinions were the following:

  • Warren Jestin, Senior Vice-President & Chief Economist, Scotiabank
  • Sebastien Lavoie, Assistant Chief Economist, Laurentian Bank Securities
  • Stefane Marion, Chief Economist and Strategist, National Bank of Canada

Here are the top 10 sound bites from that session:

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November 24th, 2014

The Buzz From the Expo

A perennial highlight of CAAMP’s Mortgage Forum is the EXPO. It’s where brokers network with lenders and mortgage industry suppliers, and where the latter show off their wares.

It’s become our tradition to roam the show floor every year, gathering tidbits about each exhibitor’s recent developments and new products. Here’s some of what we dug up this time around:

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November 22nd, 2014

Broker Coalition Causes a Stir

Upwards of 70% of mortgage agents in Canada work at one of the top 10 brokerages or broker networks. And then there are the rest. Mostly independent, these agents faithfully serve their clients under their own flag.

But it’s getting harder to maintain margins these days, especially if you’re an independent broker. In many cases, independents simply don’t have the support, nor do they have sufficient buying power, key relationships and top-tier compensation with enough lenders. Those are meaningful benefits they might otherwise receive with certain superbrokers.

That may be partly what sparked John Bargis’s newest idea. Bargis, who owns the brokerage Mortgage Edge, has spearheaded the new “Coalition of Independent Mortgage Brokers of Canada” (CIMBC). It’s essentially a club that, among other things, aggregates volume to improve the economics for independent brokers.

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November 21st, 2014

CFF Doubles its Retail Network

CFF-Bank-Horizontal-LogoCanadian First Financial Group has accelerated its national expansion. The company, which partners with mortgage brokers to market banking products, has doubled its national footprint in just two months.

In September, for example, the company had 11 broker-owned CFF banking Centres. It now has 23 (the list).

The company has built a name for itself by providing brokers a way to diversify their revenue streams. It does that by helping them refer non-mortgage financial products (bank accounts, TFSAs, GICs, etc.) to their mortgage customers.  Continue reading

November 18th, 2014

Highlights from CAAMP’s Fall Mortgage Report


Mortgage analysts look forward to this day each and every year — that is, the date CAAMP releases its annual mortgage market research.

This year’s edition has a slew of new mortgage findings. We’ve highlighted the items that are eye-catching. (Extra-notable data points are in blue. This author’s comments are in italics.)

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November 17th, 2014

Q&A with CanWise Financial’s James Laird

james-lairdAfter spending six years as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Canada’s largest independent mortgage brokerage, James Laird set up his own mortgage company, CanWise Financial, earlier this fall.

Laird’s success has in large part been due to a mastery of leveraging the Internet leads. In the Q&A that follows, he provides some important insights into setting up a broker business for online business.

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November 13th, 2014

Coast Capital’s New Pricing Strategy

A core selling proposition of mortgage brokers is choice. The more lenders that a broker works with, the greater their ability to source a mortgage tailored to the client.

But some lenders (e.g., CIBC, BMO, ING, HSBC, Macquarie) have left the broker channel, reducing choices for broker customers. Those exits have typically been blamed on insufficient profitability, and one reason for that is inadequate cross selling.

In other words, mortgage brokers don’t push a lender’s other products as well as a lender rep would. And that is exactly why Vancouver-based Coast Capital’s new broker model is intriguing.

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News on Canadian mortgages, mortgage brokers, and mortgage rates.