The provincial or federal legislation governing a lender will determine its type. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions provides a Federally Regulated Financial Institutions list, which includes banks, trust companies, loan companies, and life insurance companies. FSRA regulates Insured Credit Unions and Caisses Populaires.
The mortgage brokerage AIR also contains the following guidance on lender types.
Bank: Federally Regulated Financial Institutions incorporated (as a Schedule I or II bank) under the Bank Act.
Credit Union: A corporation incorporated or continued as a credit union or caisse populaire.
Insurance Company: Insurance Company incorporated or registered under the Insurance Companies Act.
Mortgage Finance Company (MFC) / Monoline: an MFC or “Monoline” lender is a non-depository financial institution that underwrites and services mortgages sourced through brokers.
Mortgage Investment Corporation: An investment/lending company designed specifically for mortgage investing or lending, in Canada, and governed by the Income Tax Act (Canada).
Mortgage Investment Entity (MIE), Other than MIC: A MIE is a mortgage-financing business that pools together money from investors to lend on mortgages. MIEs can vary in organizational structure, and may be a trust, a limited partnership or a corporation.
Private Lender: A person or business, other than a MIC or MIE, who lends their own funds for a mortgage. Private lenders may include individual mortgage brokers or agents. (Brokerages that lend their own funds are self-funding)
Self-Funding: Brokerages that lend their own funds
Trust Company: A trust company or trust corporation registered or authorized to carry on business under the Trust and Loan Companies Act (Canada).