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The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has set March 12, 2012 as the deadline for completing new licensing requirements for mortgage brokers within the province of Ontario, with the stated purpose is to improve the level of professionalism in the mortgage broker industry.

The move is being applauded by mortgage associations such as IMBA and CAAMP and on the surface would appear to have the support of the mortgage industry. Nor surprising is that both associations will offer the required training for those willing to pay the fee or offer it “free” in exchange for membership in their association.

The speculation has already begun on what effect this new requirement will have on purging the existing ranks of mortgage brokers in Ontario. Is this simply an attempt to eliminate the weakest of the competition or perhaps a cash grab opportunity for the associations?

I fully support all efforts to improve the quality of mortgage agents and level of professionalism in this province but I do question the motives. If we are serious about professionalism then why not impose minimum educational requirements as a prerequisite to obtaining a mortgage license. I would suggest a bachelor of commerce degree or equivalent. That would quickly purge the ranks, but I also suspect many of the decision makers in our industry would be out of work as well. We do need tougher accreditation and training standards that actually promote professionalism and competency.

I am tired of associations like CAAMP promoting the Accredited Mortgage Professional which can effectively be “purchased” via membership and by taking classes whereby the only absolute requirement is that I simply “show up”. Where is the professionalism in that?

We welcome your comments.