Vachon: Banks Have a…Core Responsibility

Louis-Vachon-National-BankThere have been various bank executives weighing in on lending policies lately. The latest comments come from National Bank CEO Louis Vachon.

Vachon says his bank has been lending carefully and that it has chosen to sidestep most of this year’s “rate wars.”

At National Bank’s annual meeting Wednesday, he stated:

  • “The banks have a fundamental and core responsibility” (to lend prudently)
  • “When you look at what occurred in the U.S., it was the underwriting policies of the banks and of the mortgage insurance units that impacted things.”
  • “There was no dialogue [in the U.S.] between the industry and the regulators prior to the crisis.”

One certainly can’t say the same for Canada, with lending policies and housing risk making the front pages of newspapers on a regular basis.

Mr. Vachon added, “We’ve been a very slow and very reluctant follower in terms of the price wars.”

As mortgage planners dealing with National Bank, we can attest to that. It’s a stance that may be positive from a banking regulator’s or risk manager’s viewpoint, but it’s not so endearing to consumers or to those who refer mortgage customers to National Bank.

Source: Globe & Mail


Rob McLister, CMT

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