Detecting and Preventing Mortgage Fraud
The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) is actively working to better protect consumers and build public confidence in the mortgage brokering sector.
Following two public consultations, FSRA is releasing final guidance that captures key obligations and standards of practice under the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006 (“MBLAA”) and its regulations, as well as common industry practices, aimed at combating mortgage fraud. The guidance sets out sector requirements to conduct business in a manner that does not facilitate dishonesty, fraud or any other illegal conduct.
The guidance makes it clear that principal brokers, brokerages and administrators are obligated to establish and implement policies and procedures that ensure licensees and staff comply with the MBLAA. These policies and procedures must include prohibitions against providing false or deceptive information, with a focus on fraud detection and prevention and a duty to conduct identity verification.
As a result of feedback received during the second consultation, FSRA made additional updates to the final guidance, including:
- Increasing the number of examples of red flags for fraud
- Indicating that the use of multi-factor authentication is a best practice for identity verification
- Noting that fraud prevention obligations apply to all service channels (e.g., online and in-person)
FSRA would like to thank everyone who provided feedback.
FSRA has authority to regulate and sanction licensed mortgage brokerages, brokers, agents and administrators. FSRA may take enforcement action against these parties if it receives credible information about potential fraud or failure to comply with the law and its regulations.
When fraud involves more than FSRA-licensed persons or businesses, FSRA works with the appropriate law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction over those other persons or businesses.
- Detecting and Preventing Mortgage Fraud Guidance
- FSRA’s responses to March 2023 public consultation comments
- FSRA’s responses to December 2021 public consultation comments
FSRA continues to work on behalf of all stakeholders, including consumers, to ensure financial safety, fairness, and choice for everyone. Learn more at www.fsrao.ca.