MBABC Conference Recap

MBABCThis year’s Mortgage Brokers Association of B.C. (MBABC) conference was a good time as usual. It was also educational. Here were some takeaways:

On home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)

Bank of Canada Deputy Governor John Murray said:

  • HELOCs are “great” when “used wisely”
  • They allow Canadians to “smooth consumption” and refinance high interest debt
  • But there is risk that “certain households could find themselves a little exposed”

MBABC President Geoff Parkin noted:

  • OSFI’s proposal on HELOCs is well-intentioned but “somewhat misguided”
  • He pointed to some unnecessary limitations the policy would create for highly-qualified borrowers, particularly those who rely on HELOCs for income generating purposes

On how the Bank of Canada (BoC) sets rates

Murray explained that:

  • The BoC’s singular objective is “achieving and maintaining a low, stable and predictable level of inflation.”
  • The BoC “is as concerned about undershooting (its) 2% (inflation) target as overshooting it.”
  • Changes to the policy rate “typically take 4-6 quarters to have their full effect on economic activity, and 6-8 quarters to have their full effect on inflation (essentially two years).”
  • Policy makers are forced to make their decisions “in conditions of considerable uncertainty.”

On OSFI’s proposal to re-qualify mortgagors at renewal

Parkin said:

  • “Our sense is that this guideline is to quantify risk at renewal only” (i.e., homeowners that have paid as agreed probably won’t be pushed out on the street if they don’t qualify at renewal)
  • “I do believe that…regulators will look to assess that risk on a bank’s portfolio and look to perhaps a higher risk-weighting for capital purposes on that part of the balance sheet…perhaps requiring a higher loan loss provision/reserve etc.”

On inter-provincial broker licensing

Parkin said:

  • “The legislation currently allows inter-provincial licensing. That, however, introduces a challenge because licensing education standards are very different between provinces.  I believe we need a level playing field and that the licensing education requirements should be consistent between provinces.
  • MBABC is advocating a national educational standard so brokers in one province can be licensed more easily in multiple provinces. (This is a much-needed change that would benefit consumers nationwide. It would boost competition, lower rates and let homeowners access top brokers from other provinces.)

MBABC will also be pushing for changes to allow BC sub-mortgage brokers to incorporate. That would help sub-mortgage brokers manage taxes and liability in a similar way as brokers.

Sidebar: Here were the headcounts from this year’s event (source: MBABC):

  • Exhibitors:  53 (versus 58 last year)
  • Delegates:  ~400 (versus ~500 last year)
  • Attendee Breakdown:  60-65% brokers and 35-40% lenders & affiliates.

Rob McLister, CMT

  1. On “Requalifying at renewal”
    . . . “homeowners that have paid as agreed probably won’t be pushed out on the street if they don’t qualify at renewal”. . .
    PROBABLY won’t be pushed out on the street?!!
    Isn’t that nice. . So who is the gov’t protecting here? the banks? or the citizens?
    Par for the course. . .

  2. Only 400 delegates attended and of that 60-65% were brokers, so approx 250 actual brokers attended this. That is sad and MBABC has a lot of work to do so brokers see value in what they are doing. It must have been funny watching 50 exhibitors chase the 250 brokers around trying to buy them a drink or 3.
    I used to support both CAMP and MBABC and attend the events, but lenders update us regularly on products, websites like yours do a great job of reporting the current news and trends. Both organizations have not provided any real value to re-join. We need 1 strong voice to advocate for licensed brokers only, not associations that sign up banks and road reps that do not do business in the broker channel.

  3. I agree that we may need to make it better. When planning this event this year we started over from scratch, with the feedback from previous show last year.
    If this is to be better and more in tune with what Brokers, lenders and attendees want, please fill out the survey that will be coming out shortly. Other than providing any feedback for us to work with, we cannot change a thing.
    I worked tirelessly on this with the girls at the office and with my co-cahir. We made changes on the feedback we received last year. We are also not that naive in knowing that we cannot please everybody who attends. What we can do though is take the feedback and make changes for next year.
    I spent most of the time at the show asking for opinions and giving out business cards to garner feedback to improve for next year.
    So please in closing, we have no problems with any feedback whatsoever. We just need you to channel it in the right direction with suggestions as to how to make it better. Please fill out the surey if you attended and help us make it worth your money for next year.
    Trust me when I say that we listen to it.
    OR you can send feedback to me personally at or give me a call and tell me what you think we can do better.
    We want your opinions.

  4. You have a short memory. If it had not been for CAAMP and the government relations thrust, you as a broker would be paying GST on all of your income.
    Sit down and figure out how much more money you have in your pocket today. Is that not worth the price of membership?

  5. the conference hit an all time low in terms of value, speakers and overall experience. I would guess maybe 150-200 max people, there was no 400.

  6. i can never understand why they hold these conferences over a monday and tuesday, and in the busiest month of the year. i’d love to go hang out, but i have a lot of work to do.

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