A strong gatekeeping role is a cornerstone of FSRA’s licensing activities. To protect consumers, FSRA ensures that individuals and businesses who want to sell or provide financial services products and services to the public are qualified and suitable for a licence. FSRA also ensures they comply with all ongoing licensing requirements. A rigorous licence qualification process protects industry participants as well, because they rely on licensed entities to contract and sell their products.
Through 2020 and 2021, the number of mortgage agent licence applications increased by more than 30% compared to prior years. The number of mortgage broker and mortgage brokerage applications also increased.
As a result, FSRA has been taking steps to improve efficiency and reduce turnaround times. We are happy to report that in the third quarter, we issued 93% of complete licence applications within 10 days of receipt, and we contacted 79% of applicants with a suitability issue identified within 10 days of assignment to a specialist. This is compared with 24% and 49% respectively in the first quarter.
Completed and upcoming initiatives
Since FSRA’s inception, the licensing team has been working to improve the efficiency of its processes, while strengthening the effectiveness of its gatekeeping role. We are proud to share that we have successfully completed various initiatives that make it easier for you to access licensing services, while we continue to work on others.
- established an online process for licensees to request and pay for a letter of history
- created new dynamic forms for mortgage brokerages and mortgage administrators to apply for a licence or surrender their licence
- moved the annual AIRs for mortgage brokerages and administrators to a portal with improved functionality
- implemented new processes to review applications from course providers for the Mortgage Agent Course and Continuing Education courses
- enabled self-serve password resets for mortgage brokerages for greater convenience
- improved stability of systems to significantly reduce service outages
- effected internal system changes to automate certain processes and improve service standard tracking
- supporting the FSRAForward Information Technology initiative, which is expected to positively impact all licensees and licensing stakeholders
- participating in development, consultation and implementation of licensing-related changes as a result of the government’s Review of the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 (MBLAA)
- establishing a new criminal record check process for the purpose of licensing
Act now! Complete your continuing education and submit your licence renewal application
During the annual renewal cycle from February 1 to March 31, FSRA’s licensing team is focused on reviewing licence applications from new applicants, reinstatement applications from prior licensees, and renewal applications from current licensees.
Given the high volume of applications, we encourage all applicants and licensees to complete their continuing education course and submit their applications early. While many applications are processed quickly, others may require additional review and therefore longer turnaround time.
On March 31, the renewal cycle will conclude, at which time we look forward to continuing the work on our ongoing projects and interacting with our stakeholders about upcoming initiatives.