The Mortgage Brokers Act (the Act) provides a framework for the registration and regulation of mortgage brokers in British Columbia. For many British Columbians, their mortgage is the largest and most important debt they will incur in their lifetime. The Mortgage Brokers Act was originally enacted in 1972 as consumer protection legislation to ensure that lenders were operating out of registered premises and properly disclosing the cost of borrowing. Although the act has been amended several times, most notably in 1998 to protect investors, the current financial services market has changed profoundly over the past forty years and further refinements were warranted.
The Ministry of Finance launched a broad review of the Act, and invited public and stakeholder input on a discussion paper outlining the direction of possible reforms to the legislation. The purpose of the review was to help identify and address any legislative aspects that may expose consumers of mortgage products to unnecessary financial risk or create undue inefficiencies in the market, including any problems, gaps, inconsistencies or ambiguities in the Act.
November 29, 2012 to February 28, 2013
Approximately 40 submissions were received in response to the consultation paper released in 2012. Submissions were received from various individuals, the Mortgage Broker Association of British Columbia (MBABC), the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP), brokerage firms, as well as a number of other associations and organizations with an interest in the mortgage broker industry.
Input leads to action:
The Mortgage Brokers Act and the Securities Act overlap with one another in some important aspects, currently British Columbia is in the process of moving towards a common securities regulator, including the development of new uniform securities legislation, in collaboration with the federal government and a number of other provinces. Certain aspects of the Mortgage Brokers Act review may be affected by the new securities legislation. The Mortgage Brokers Act review will be considered within the broader context of the development of a common securities regulator and financial sector regulation generally.