A little rant from my side…
In the past, we had banks (bank as a catch all for credit unions and trust companies) and Mortgage Brokers.
Writing mortgage applications is extremely difficult; there are a lot of moving parts in a mortgage. Because of this, banks employ mortgage specialists whose sole role is to provide mortgage advice.
On the other hand, previous to 20 years ago, a Mortgage Broker’s main job was to get financing when a bank declined a borrower’s application. Basically, Mortgage Brokers were a borrower’s last resort: “if you can’t get financing from the bank (RBC, TD, Scotia, etc.), come speak to me.” This is generally why we see older generations having never used mortgage brokers – they didn’t have a need.
But, there have been many changes over the decades. In most cases, Mortgage Brokers can provide better interest rates for most mortgage applications. This is specifically due to wholesale lenders.
But, when it comes to prime (bank or Monoline Lenders) financing, Mortgage Brokers find they are sometimes at a disadvantage when banks make “exceptions” to regulatory mortgage rules. Mortgage Brokers are sometimes held to a higher standard because all of our files are picked at with a fine-toothed comb.
For example: in 2016/7 CIBC, which does not procure mortgages from Mortgage Brokers, underwent a mortgage audit. The regulator found that every single one of the 50 mortgages audited failed their audit… and CIBC hardly even got a slap on the wrist. As an side, remember when banks would provide financing for foreign students with no income? Yeah… that was primarily CIBC!
Notwithstanding, Mortgage Brokers (by definition) have access to many different types of lenders and are not beholden to the employer institution. Non-prime lenders can lean more heavily on a specific property and less so on the strict guidelines that the government requires.
Long story short, Mortgages Brokers have access to many different lenders, but in come cases, a bank specialist can get something done that a Mortgage Broker cannot do due to the bending mortgage rules. Notwithstanding, in 99% of cases, if all rules are followed (which are being more strictly enforced since 2018), Mortgage Brokers have more access and more complete solutions to bank specialists.