B-20 looms over MIC conference

Last week’s British Columbia MIC Manager’s Association conference set an attendance record—a sign that B-20 has helped the space grow market share.

“There is a lot going on in the MIC space with OSFI-related B-20 rules and things getting tighter with conventional lenders, said Steve Ponte, president of the BC MIC Managers Association. “Some brokers only focused on the A channel, but now they’re looking to diversify their business by sending their clients to MICs because they’re ultimately trying to find solutions for their clients. This is the first year we’ve actually out,” and B-20 “is certainly a part of it.”

The conference was held in Fairmount Pacific Rim Vancouver last and featured a three-hour trade show in addition to educational sessions. Most importantly, brokers had the chance to mingle with mortgage investment corporation operators and learn about the business.

“It was a great way to put faces to names and learn about our business,” continued Ponte. “As for demand, brokers are feeling that as well. There’s a finite amount of capital for MICs.”

Fisgard was among 20 exhibitors, and its Mortgage Portfolio Manager Joanne Vickery says that brokers clamoured to get into the educational sessions. To Vickery, it elucidates how difficult regulators have made mortgage funding, however, it has presented the space with an opportunity.

“We sold out,” she said. “There’s definitely more interest in alternative lending now.”

The MIC community is fairly small in Canada, but it is hoping it can develop outsized influence. Fisgard, for example, has witnessed a substantial uptick in volume and hired another underwriter.

“One of the things that we’ve always brought to brokers is to make sure they understand capital management because it’s definitely important,” said Vickery. “We’ve never had a problem but we try to bring awareness to brokers. When they’re calling for deals, we let them know there are deadlines on our money and if the commitment isn’t signed or brought back at the appropriate time, we’ve earmarked those funds and we’ll have to use it for something else.”

That said, the mortgage investment corporation space is small but competitive—and that spurs variety, which Vickery calls a good thing.

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