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FICOM: Disclosure Plan a Go

B.C.’s mortgage regulator confirmed today that it is moving forward with its proposal to require brokers there to publicly disclose compensation details, possibly as early as this summer.

“My office is proceeding with plans to implement improved disclosure measures for mortgage brokers in British Columbia,” Carolyn Rogers, Registrar of Mortgage Brokers and CEO at FICOM, said in an email sent to media.

“We have reviewed feedback received from industry in response to the open letter sent in January and appreciate all the comments. I have asked the staff to begin work on the implementation details, and that work is underway.”

Since FICOM proposed the changes last fall, brokers from B.C. and across Canada have been vocal in their opposition to the plan. They contend that the amount of money a broker earns on a deal is of little value to consumers without consumer education or context, and actually confuses some consumers into choosing higher-cost financing.

Broker trade groups Mortgage Professionals Canada and MBABC have taken the position that the changes will harm the industry and consumers, and both submitted written comments to FICOM.

“In our continued discussions with FICOM, we always understood that their intention was to proceed with some form of enhanced disclosure requirement,” said Paul Taylor, CEO of Mortgage Professionals Canada. “The consultation was, to our minds, a means for FICOM to gauge our industry’s appetite for, and solicit suggestions and feedback on, various methods to achieve their stated goal of making consumers aware of any potential conflicts of interest that may arise. As such, the comments made by Caroline Rogers do not surprise us.”

Taylor added that they will continue discussions with FICOM and “wait to see what the final requirements are once released. At this point it would be premature to make any statement regarding the requirements because they have not yet been prescribed.”

FICOM says it will release more details in the next 30 to 60 days, and that it expects a transition period of “at least several months” once its disclosure plan is released.

“My office continues to welcome feedback from industry on implementation and I have received a number of offers in this regard that we will be following up on,” Rogers added.

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