Sunday was Day One of the CAAMP Mortgage Forum in Toronto. It’s the industry’s biggest convention, with 1,600+ attendees coming from around the country to learn and network.
As usual, we were on a quest for any notable lender developments and new products. Here’s a rundown of some of the action…
Festivities kicked off Saturday night with a host of parties, including first-class events put on by TD, National Bank, Equitable Trust, Mortgage Centre, DLC and Verico, among others.
Verico Party (top), DLC Party (bottom)
Things got down to business Sunday when the Expo started. The show floor had more than 100 exhibitors. Here’s a sampling of what we heard and saw:
B2B Trust: Plans to convert from a federally regulated trust to B2B Bank by (hopefully) mid-2012. That will allow it to potentially roll out more “branch-type” products in the broker channel (which might include equity lending and a new-immigrant program).
Capital Direct: Lends on the appraised value of new builds, even if it’s greater than the purchase price. (Very few lenders do that. It’s useful when you’re buying new construction and want the equity appreciation to count for a bigger down payment—thus avoiding default insurance premiums. If the mortgage is paid out within 30 days, there’s no penalty. Unfortunately, Capital Direct’s ~2.5% fee offsets much of the benefit.)
First National: Still turning around 90% of their deals in 4 hours or less (It’s incredible, and annoying, that some lenders still take up to 48 hours on approvals for status brokers.)
Home Trust: Launching its online “Annex” deal tracking system for brokers in Q1. (We took it for a short spin. It lists a broker’s deals in an uncluttered and intuitive dashboard interface, with approval status, outstanding conditions, etc.)
IC Savings: Has new lower pricing on its non-prime lending products, plus a new broker website: www.icmbs.ca. It lends in populated areas ranging from London, ON to Kingston, ON, and as high north as Orillia, ON.
ING Direct: Its new HELOC is expected within 30-90 days. It will not be automatically readvanceable as that is reportedly not “in keeping” with ING’s savings philosophy. It’ll be offered in 1st and also 2nd position (if behind an existing ING mortgage).
It’s rolling out its Partner Mortgage, which is private labelled with MCAP but apparently funded through its own sources. It’s in pilot right now with a 3.14% 5-year fixed rate.
Invis also has a new “Be Bold” branding campaign to recruit brokers. (It’s a professional look intended to make a statement. One statement it made on us is that Bob Ord is featured very prominently in Invis’s new marketing. We’re guessing that’s not by accident. Ord helped launch Mortgage Intelligence back in the day and then left to start Mortgage Architects. In September, he returned to Invis/Mortgage Intelligence after a muchpublicized departure from MA.)
The company is also working on a new no-contract broker model that addresses competitors’ 95/5 split arrangements. (Brokers aren’t fond of being tied down with contracts, which is one reason why firms like Verico do so well. Brokerages who require long-term contracts have to deliver tremendous value up front [some do and some don’t]. Otherwise, it makes no sense to lock yourself in with so many other options available.)
Scotia Mortgage Authority: Recently launched a non-resident equity program with a maximum 50% LTV. Down payment funds must be in Canada for at least 30 days. It’s designed for foreigners buying a cottage or home for their family (e.g. to house a child in university).
Verico: In Q1 it will launch its new Verico Dynamics CRM and deal management system. It runs on a Microsoft platform that will be tightly integrated with D+H Expert and Microsoft Outlook.
Following the expo was the Mortgage Hall of Fame ceremony where Michael Beckette, Yousry Bissada, and Robert Leeming were honoured as this year’s inductees. Our congratulations to each of them for long and distinguished careers serving the mortgage industry.
Robert McLister, CMT
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