March 21st, 2012

Mortgage Career: Compliance Officers, FSCO


Company: Financial Services Commission of Ontario
Position Title: Compliance Officer (3)
Licences or Registrations Required: No
Location of Position: Toronto, Ontario
Applicants may contact:


Compliance Officer (3)

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) is seeking individuals with exceptional customer service and analytical skills and sound knowledge of market conduct/financial analysis principles and methodologies to review, analyze and resolve complaints/allegations and escalated inquiries regarding the business practices and market conduct of financial service institutions and intermediaries in all sectors regulated by FSCO.


As a Compliance Officer, you will:

  • receive and respond to complaints/allegations and/or escalated inquiries about potential misconduct and unfair or deceptive business practices of individuals and companies regulated by FSCO (e.g. insurance companies, mortgage brokerages, mortgage agents/brokers, credit unions, caisses populaires, cooperatives, insurance intermediaries) as well as unlicensed entities
  • determine the nature/severity of the complaint/allegation, analyze business or financial documents to assess the nature of business practices and products and identify/confirm issues and determine level of risk and/or non-compliance with FSCO legislation and regulations
  • perform detailed fact-finding inquiries, desk or on-site market conduct reviews
  • provide technical information, advice and guidance to regulated financial institutions and intermediaries related to the interpretation and compliance requirements of financial services legislation and regulations
  • prepare timely/comprehensive case reports and compliance letters or recommend further investigations or compliance actions
  • conduct sector/company market conduct and/or product reviews to identify systemic or emerging issues and assess risk
  • participate in stakeholder consultation processes to promote a risk-based approach to market conduct regulation and to establish industry cooperation in identifying, proactively preventing and solving marketplace problems


Location: 5160 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario        


What we are looking for:

Technical Knowledge of Market Conduct Review Principles/Methods and Experience in the Financial Services Sectors in Ontario:

  • proven excellent knowledge of market conduct reviews, analysis and assessment principles, practices and risk-based regulatory tools, techniques and principles
  • proven comprehensive knowledge/experience related to customer service, business operations, risk management, product development or the distribution of financial products/services primarily within the mortgage brokering, credit union/caisses populaires or other FSCO regulated sectors
  • proven knowledge of accounting or internal audit theory, principles, methods and practices within financial service sectors


Superior Research, Investigative, Analytical, Organizational and Computer Skills, Excellent Judgement and Ability to Interpret Legislation and Policy:

  • proven superior critical thinking, research and investigative skills to assess complaints and gather related information/data from a broad range of sources
  • proven skill/experience in analyzing information, making sound analytical assessment, decisions and recommendations and preparing comprehensive case reports
  • proven ability and experience in interpreting legislation and policies related to the regulated financial services
  • excellent computer skills and knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, database and specialized financial computer software


Superior Communication, Customer Service and Conflict Resolution Knowledge/Experience:

  • proven superior listening, customer service, oral communication and consultation skills with experience in effectively responding to and resolving unique inquiries/complaints/allegations
  • demonstrated knowledge of writing and editing principles, practices, styles and techniques and proven excellent skill and experience in preparing detailed analytical reports, briefing notes, complex correspondence and draft procedures/processes
  • proven excellent interpersonal skills and knowledge/skill in diffusing and reconciling conflicts and resolving disputes and confrontational situations
  • demonstrated working experience in a fast-paced, high volume, technically complex and customer service role
  • demonstrated ability to participate as an active member of the branch/division team and  engage in consultations with financial services stakeholders

Salary range:  $1, 270.66 – $1, 577.40 per week 

Please visit and enter Job ID 43165 in the Job ID search field to view detailed job information, including instructions on how to apply. Alternatively, you may send your resume by April 4, 2012, to:

Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Human Resources Unit
5160 Yonge Street, 16th Floor
Toronto, ON M2N 6L9

Please use only one method of application (e-mail or mail). Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

The Ontario Public Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Accommodation will be provided in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code

March 20th, 2012

On The Way: More Stringent Mortgage Qualifications

OSFIOSFI, Canada’s banking regulator, is leaning on banks and other federally regulated lenders to clamp down on underwriting practices. It released these draft recommendations yesterday.

After reading through 18 pages of changes in detail, our immediate reaction was frankly, concern.

That’s not because the guidelines are greatly imprudent. Some are unnecessarily rigid, but most are sound policy.

It’s because OSFI risks tightening too much, too fast.

If the government also decrees new insured mortgage regulations (like these), and/or rates rise significantly, and/or unemployment unexpectedly spikes, it could form the proverbial perfect storm that blows over housing valuations.

It’s one thing to induce a measured housing correction (which is probably needed in some regions), but a policy-initiated free-fall is another matter.

At this stage, OSFI’s proposal is not final. It is currently open for public comment, but if this draft guidance morphs into a firm set of guidelines, there could be broad implications for borrowers.

Here’s a rundown of the changes being discussed (our comments in italics):

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March 19th, 2012

ING Shelves its “Low Doc” Mortgage

ING-DirectING Direct is cancelling its “Express Income Qualifier” (EIQ) mortgage.

It’s the latest bank to pull back on conventional non-income qualified mortgages. This is a trend that became more pronounced earlier this year as word broke that regulators were becoming increasingly concerned with these products.

Martin Beaudry, Vice President—Lending, told us ING made this change because:

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Mortgage Career: Manager, Market Intelligence and Analysis, FSCO


Company: Financial Services Commission of Ontario
Position Title: Manager, Market Intelligence and Analysis
Licences or Registrations Required: No
Location of Position: Toronto, Ontario
Applicants may contact:


Manager, Market Intelligence and Analysis

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) regulates legislated financial service sectors in Ontario and has a key strategic objective to establish and implement a risk based approach to regulatory operations and service delivery.

FSCO seeks a proven leader in financial sector market intelligence, research/analysis and market conduct risk assessment to manage a team of financial sector market intelligence research experts in the performing of market intelligence research and analysis projects/services to identify/assess broad and complex sector trends/risks and support evidence-based regulatory solutions and legislation/policy development.

As the Manager, Market Intelligence & Analysis, you will:

  • lead and oversee the gathering and delivery of market intelligence research and analysis of regulated financial sector/industry (insurance, mortgage brokering, credit unions and caisses populaires, loan and trust companies and co-operative corporations) practices, products and business developments to identify market trends and emerging market conduct compliance issues
  • lead and manage staff in the design, development and establishment of financial sector market database systems, risk assessment tools and indicators and the synthesis, analysis and reporting of market intelligence
  • lead and manage staff in the proactive identification and assessment of emerging issues and systemic trends and in the support of the determination of market conduct compliance regulatory risks
  • manage and oversee the conducting of major business process projects for the review, analysis, design, development and implementation of business process solutions, best practices, performance measures, benchmarking, re-engineering, communication/marketing tools and change management initiatives to support regulatory operations
  • lead and manage a quality assurance role to support regulatory compliance, complaint and inquiry handling activities and assess the results and achievements of regulatory outcomes
  • represent the government/FSCO in consultations with senior representatives of regulated sectors/industries, stakeholders and financial services professional bodies
  • manage and provide expertise and advice to FSCO executives, ministry staff and other regulators on the development of practices, strategies and positions to address regulatory issues
  • participate as a member of the branch/division management team, act for the Director, Market Regulation Branch as assigned and participate in or lead division, FSCO or sector committees

Location: 5160 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario        


What we are looking for:

Knowledge in a Financial Services Environment:

  • extensive experience-based knowledge of financial sector governance structures, business policies/standards, financial products, intermediaries and current issues/trends in regulated financial service sectors across Ontario

Technical Knowledge in Market Intelligence Research and Risk Analysis:

  • comprehensive knowledge and expertise related to the theory, principles, practices and methods of market intelligence research, information-gathering and analysis
  • comprehensive knowledge and expertise in market conduct regulation risk analysis and assessment and risk-based regulatory techniques within the regulated financial services

Knowledge of Quality Assurance, Performance Measurement and Policy/Business Process Development:

  • extensive knowledge of quality assurance and performance measurement principles, methods and processes
  • advanced knowledge of business process and communication methods including performance measures, benchmarking, re-engineering and business marketing/communication and change management
  • knowledge of policy assessment methods with experience in providing advice in support of policy initiatives and executive decision making

Strategic Orientation, Leadership and Management Skills:

  • strategic orientation with proven excellent leadership and project management skills for planning, leading and managing the delivery of multiple and concurrent complex market intelligence and business process projects and initiatives
  • proven excellent human resources management skills to effectively lead and manage a staff team

Conceptual, Analytical, Creative, Decision Making and Computer Skills:

  • proven superior conceptual, analytical, creative and decision-making skills to assess the unit intelligence gathering/analysis project results, seek new/innovative methods for identifying/measuring risk, oversee the design and development of leading risk indicators and risk assessment tools and provide authoritative expertise and advice to the FSCO executives
  • advanced computer skills and knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, data-base and specialized financial computer software

Relationship Development/Management, Communication and Consultation Skills:

  • demonstrated stakeholder relationship development/management skills to represent the government/FSCO with licensees and officials in the regulated financial service sectors
  • demonstrated superior verbal and written communication and presentation skills to provide regulatory expertise, technical analytical reports, advice and briefings to stakeholders, senior management and the CEO/Superintendent


Salary range:  $76,726.00 – $100,240.00 per annum 

Please visit and enter Job ID 43077 in the Job ID search field to view detailed job information, including instructions on how to apply. Alternatively, you may send your resume by April 2, 2012, to:

Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Human Resources Unit
5160 Yonge Street, 16th Floor
Toronto, ON M2N 6L9

Please use only one method of application (e-mail or mail). Only those applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

The Ontario Public Service is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Accommodation will be provided in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code

Q4 2011 Market Share: Broker Lenders


Broker volume in 2011 and 2010 was effectively the same, according to Davis + Henderson’s latest market share report.

There was a notable shift in rate preference, however.

A total of 74% of broker-originated approvals were for fixed rates, versus 23% variable. That’s the highest fixed-to-variable rate ratio since summer 2009.

Smaller lenders captured a bigger piece of the pie in Q4. The top 10 lenders held 81.4% market share, down from 84% in Q3.

Below, we list the notable lender performances from this past quarter.

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March 17th, 2012

Yield Spike Puts Mortgage Specials at Risk

rising-fixed-ratesThe cost of funding fixed-rate mortgages surged this week as bond yields escalated.

The 5-year yield is up over 30 basis points in 10 days, and 45 bps since the end of January.

That means lenders could start pulling some fixed-rate specials and/or increasing rates in general, as early as next week.

Some have already lifted rates in the last 48 hours and we hear at least one major bank will be cancelling its 2.99% 4-year offer on Tuesday.

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March 15th, 2012

Term Selection: Nickel or Dime?

5-or-10-year-mortgageThe overwhelming majority of today’s mortgagors are picking fixed rates.

More than ever, these folks are torn between a 5- or 10-year fixed term (“nickel” or “dime” in our slanguage).

To get an outside perspective on this decision, we turned to York University Professor Moshe Milevsky, someone in whom we have a great deal of trust when it comes to mortgage term analysis.

The following scenario was posed to him:

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March 13th, 2012

RBC: Rate Rush to Boost Yields

mortgage-interest-rate-forecastHere’s something the debt-wary Feds don’t want to hear:

“There are reasons to expect huge volumes of mortgage applications this year, which will contribute to a very weak four- and five-year sector of the curve.”

— RBC fixed income strategist Ian Pollick (Source: Bloomberg)

Pollick speculates that 5-year yields could pop 20 basis points higher “during March and April.”

That’s not what mortgage shoppers like to hear either.

At the moment, there are multiple bullish forces pushing yields up, including:

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March 12th, 2012

Standardizing Mortgage Penalty Calculations

penalty-standardizationTwo years ago, the government pledged to “standardize the calculation and disclosure of mortgage prepayment penalties.”

It addressed the disclosure problem last week (see: New Mortgage Penalty Disclosure), but it has done nothing to standardize the actual calculation itself.

This lack of action irritates some consumer advocates. They feel that lenders’ convoluted, algebraic penalty formulas allow them to overcharge people. (How to define “overcharge” is another question.)

As to why the government chose not to standardize penalty calculations, a Department of Finance (DOF) official told us:

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March 11th, 2012

Q1 Bank Roundup

BankThe first quarter of 2012 brought us ultra-low mortgage rates and strong bank profits overall.

Canada’s Big 6 earned just over $7 billion in the quarter, up roughly six per cent from a year ago.

All banks met or exceeded street expectations, despite operating in an extended low-rate environment that has seen volumes drop and margins shrink.

Here’s a roundup of noteworthy mortgage morsels from the banks’ Q1 reports. We’ve highlighted some of the more notable parts.

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