Banks defend mortgage verifications

The big banks are going on the defensive, reiterating confidence in their systems to vet mortgage applications presented brokers.

“In our underwriting standards, verification of income and the down payment is very important and central to the process,'' Mark Chauvin , chief risk officer for TD said during its quarterly shareholder conference call, according to the Canadian Press. “We will do that through several means and we'll do it until we're satisfied that we have it right.''

A number of the big banks have been questioned about their respective mortgage verification processes after Home Trust, a leading channel lender, announced 45 of its broker partners had been suspended for falsifying documents.

For its part, BMO is also standing by its processes.

“We are quite comfortable with the suppliers of third-party mortgages to us, and the processes that we have in place,'' Surjit Rajpal, chief risk office for BMO, said during BMO’s conference call earlier this week. Rajpal also noted it had taken a closer look at its own applications in the wake of the Home Trust news and hadn’t noticed any issues.

RBC, meanwhile, pointed to the fact that it doesn’t deal with brokers in defending its own verification process.

“Our applications are only taken by branch lenders and our proprietary mortgage sales force,'' Jennifer Tory, head of personal and commercial banking said during RBC’s conference call earlier this week, according to CP. “And for each application we verify income. We have various ways of doing that. And our policies require documents to be retained.''

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