Shared Interests In Prudent Mortgage Lending

Address by Julie Dickson, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario Superintendent

Shared interests in prudent mortgage lending - Remarks delivered by Superintendent Julie Dickson to the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) 2013 Mortgage Forum, Toronto, Ontario, November 25, 2013.

I am happy to be here today as I think it is important for all of us to take advantage of occasions like this to explain “what makes us tick.” And I am especially happy to be speaking first at this conference. Lacking in military experience, and having never been to outer space, I would not want to follow Colonel Chris Hadfield or General Colin Powell.

In recent years, the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) has placed an increasingly strong focus on government relations, and undertaken and published important research on the mortgage market in Canada. Both of these undertakings have been useful in explaining CAAMP’s perspective to a broad audience.

In this spirit, I hope that my speaking to you today will help convey OSFI’s perspective on a range of issues.

Without question, your organization and mine share many of the same goals. CAAMP’s 2013 annual report reaffirms your commitment to upholding excellence in the Canadian mortgage industry and maintaining quality mortgage industry standards. We support and share these commitments. You have also placed an emphasis on educating consumers, and ensuring their interests are met.

OSFI also cares about consumers, as they hold their life savings at the banks and financial institutions we are mandated to supervise and regulate. Banks are at the centre of transactions where consumers pay for goods and services, and of course they provide funding to consumers for important services like mortgages. Prudent lending and investment by banks are therefore critical if banks are to stay strong, benefit consumers and promote economic growth.

Mortgage underwriting is important because it has been shown that if the real estate market in a country sees a sharp disturbance, many consumers, or perhaps even the country itself, will suffer as a result. Historically, serious financial crises have often been associated with real estate lending. Canada has not avoided significant real estate corrections in the past, such as during 1981 and 1991. We all want to avoid a repeat of those times, and an open dialogue between regulators and mortgage professionals is needed to ensure lending practices promote stability.

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Marie Copeland is Hamilton Mortgage Broker, Burlington Mortgages and Ancaster, Waterdown, Milton, Oakville, Stoney Creek, Grimsby and throughout Ontario.

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