Ontario Seeks Input on Regulation of Provincial Mortgage Businesses

The Ontario Ministry of Finance is seeking input from the public and other stakeholders with respect to a legislative review of the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 (MBLAA). The review focuses on streamlining the MBLAA and reducing any unnecessary regulatory burden and costs. The review may also afford those in the mortgage industry the opportunity to seek to exclude commercial loans from the application of the MBLAA.

The review dovetails nicely with the recent regulator focus on consumer protection and efforts to update financial services legislation to keep pace with technology and consumer expectations.

The MBLAA was enacted in 2008 and was the subject of one prior legislative review in 2013. In 2013, the MBLAA had only been in force for five years. At that time, the Ministry of Finance considered whether to “strengthen the already substantial consumer protection provisions” in the MBLAA, ultimately making only a few amendments. The current review is more focused and has the benefit of 10 years of perspective regarding the strengths and shortcomings of the MBLAA.

A concern of commercial mortgage lenders is that the MBLAA requires a broad variety of individuals and businesses in the mortgage industry to be licensed in Ontario, subject only to minimal exceptions. To the particular frustration of mortgage brokers, lenders and administrators that only deal with commercial borrowers, the MBLAA licensing requirements apply.

When preparing their comments, mortgage participants may consider requesting an exclusion for commercial transactions. This would align with the consumer protection objectives of the MBLAA as well as the purpose of the review.

The review is meant to be complete by spring 2019. Any comments must be provided no later than January 11, 2019 and can be sent by e-mail to mblaa.consultation@ontario.ca or by regular mail to:

Gina Stephens
Senior Policy Advisor
Financial Services Policy Division
Ministry of Finance
95 Grosvenor St. – 4th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1Z1

For further information, please contact:

Dawn Jetten                               416-863-2956
Victoria Allsopp                          416-863-3337
Katie Patterson                          416-863-2659

or any other member of our Financial Services Regulatory group.

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We would be pleased to provide additional details or advice about specific situations if desired.

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