The Latest in Mortgage News: First National Teams Up With Newton on Document Sharing
In what’s being called an industry-first in tech collaboration, First National has teamed up with Newton Connectivity Systems to improve the document-submission process between the broker and lender.
The companies announced this week that it is now possible for brokers to securely submit supporting documentation directly from Newton’s Velocity software to First National’s MERLIN broker information system.
This collaboration is meant to help streamline document management and free up time for brokers, who can now complete document submissions with just one system and one login.
“This simple but transformative advancement will eliminate admin time and get you condition-free mortgage approvals faster,” Geoff Willis, President & CEO of Newton Connectivity Systems, said in a statement.
First National is currently the first of Newton’s connected lenders to launch this document-sharing integration to support application submissions. “We intend this industry-first to become the ‘new norm’ for enhanced connections between mortgage brokers and lenders during 2022,” he added.
First National said it chose to partner with Velocity based on its reputation within the broker community and also its ability to handle First National’s growing volumes.
“This technology handshake means Velocity now serves as your borrower-facing portal at the front end, and at the back end, your First National-facing document portal,” said Scott McKenzie, Senior Vice President of First National. “Speed is critically important in every transaction and this combined solution will shave precious seconds off every deal submission.”
Equitable Bank Expands into Quebec
Equitable Bank announced this week that it is expanding its EQB Evolution Suite of prime mortgage products into Quebec.
The mortgages are applicable to residential properties, but also include solutions for investors looking to purchase rental properties, newcomers to Canada, and those purchasing vacation or second properties.
“We’re pleased to now offer our full suite of prime insured mortgage solutions from coast to coast,” Damon Knights, Vice President of Sales and Distribution for Personal Banking at Equitable Bank, said in a release. “Providing Canadians with the right financing for their specific needs has always been our focus and we’re thrilled we can now offer those same options to Quebec customers.”
Low Interest Rates Causing FIs to Buy Riskier Assets: BoC
With rock-bottom interest rates putting pressure on profitability, risk managers at Canada’s financial institutions are increasingly eyeing riskier assets.
That’s one of the findings in the Bank of Canada’s bi-annual Financial System Review, which surveys senior experts who specialize in risk management of the financial system.
“Overall, the prolonged period of low interest rates over the past decade has worsened respondents’ abilities to meet their profit or return goals. As a result, asset managers, pension funds and insurers have increased their exposures to riskier assets and may have taken on more leverage,” the review reads.
It also noted, however, that many respondents said their overall risk profile had not changed significantly.
The Impact of Low Interest Rates on Canada’s Financial Institutions
The review noted that banks had the largest growth in real estate and infrastructure exposures.
“Overall, most respondents stated that they are more exposed to risky assets, yet they believe that their level of risk has not changed significantly,” the BoC said, adding that could mean one of two things.
“Combined with their high level of confidence in the financial system, attributed in part to the pandemic response of authorities, this may suggest moral hazard,” the BoC said. “Alternatively, this may reflect that many participants noted that the banking sector is strong and the financial system well regulated.”