First National to handle underwriting processing for Manulife

First National Financial will provide underwriting processing services for Manulife’s residential broker channel in Ontario and Atlantic Canada under a new agreement.

The firm will use a customized software solution based on its MERLIN technology to process Manulife mortgages and underwrite them in accordance with Manulife’s credit policies, compliance standards and controls.

Manulife will fund the mortgages and remain responsible for underwriting guidelines, mortgage servicing, and client relationships.

"This is an important agreement that leverages the distinct capabilities and strengths of both parties," said Stephen Smith, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First National. "For First National, it represents the next step in the expansion of our underwriting and fulfillment services."

The agreement commences this month and will enable Manulife to further enhance its already strong presence in the mortgage broker channel. First National will handle the processing from its Toronto office.

"The mortgage broker distribution channel accounts for about $90 billion of new mortgage originations each year," said Scott McKenzie, Senior Vice President, Residential Mortgages. "This agreement further validates the channel's relevance where First National will continue to be a lender in its own right."

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