What was once lauded as a broker-owned bank no longer is, according to some industry players who feel CFF Bank was sold off before it could reach its full potential.
“CFF billed itself as a bank by brokers for brokers and it seems the owners took their payout and betrayed the original philosophy,” Iain Macfadyen of Dominion Lending Centres A Better Way told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “CFF was a work in progress and I now think it’s just another bank.”
According to Macfadyen, its original value proposition has been thrown out the window now that it can no longer be called a broker-owned bank.
When asked about the shift in ownership, Gerald Solowoay, CEO of Home Trust, confirmed the bank will be billed as “100 per cent owned by Home Trust,” though the parent company has no plans to rebrand its CFF banking arm.
Home Trust announced early last week that it had acquired the Schedule I bank in a deal that is awaiting regulator and shareholder approval before being finalized.
It was a big move by the lender, and one that brokers are hoping will further cement it as a leading player in the mortgage industry.
For its part, Canadian First Financial acquired MonCana Bank in late 2013 and rebranded it CFF Bank.
That deal was lauded at the time by players who commended Canadian First for establishing the first broker-owned bank – a model that has seen success in foreign markets.
A broker-owned bank is “exactly what it is,” Peter Majthenyi of Mortgage Architects told MortgageBrokerNews.ca at the time.
“We’re not re-inventing the wheel here; all you have to do is go to the Queensland Bank of Australia – they sold the bank to brokers and once the brokers take ownership of the branch, the momentum or the degree of involvement changes significantly.
“They have had huge success with mortgage brokers opening their own branches and cross-selling different kinds of products, more than just mortgages.”