Thank you, Mr. Chair, and members of the committee. On behalf of the over 12,000 members of Mortgage Professionals Canada, thank you for providing the opportunity to take part in the discussions today.
My name is Elaine Taylor. I am vice-president of sales for MCAP Corporation and chair of the board of directors of Mortgage Professionals. Also with me today is Paul Taylor—no relation—the president and CEO of MPC.
For additional context for our remarks today, I'd like to remind the committee of MPC's membership composition. We are a professional association promoting mortgage broker-originated mortgages.
By head count, mortgage brokers and agents across Canada make up the largest component of our membership. However, almost all Canadian banks and mortgage lenders that originate mortgages through independent agents and brokers also belong to our association.
Additionally, all three mortgage insurers in Canada are also members. Because of the diverse nature of our members' businesses and their respective role in facilitating broker-originated mortgages, MPC has a thorough understanding of the marketplace impacts of any changes to mortgage financing and funding costs, securitization and liquidity, underwriting criteria and lending guidelines, and changing consumer behaviours.
In our remarks today, we would like to thank the government for many of the measures taken to ensure economic and liquidity support for Canadians and businesses alike. Specifically for our industry, the reintroduction of the insured mortgage purchase program, with its newly increased stated limit of $150 billion, provided much-needed access to capital for banks and other lenders. Additionally, the reduction of the domestic stability buffer added $300 billion in liquidity to banks for them to be able to support struggling businesses through additional extensions of credit. The reductions in the Bank of Canada benchmark rate also occurred during this time.
We are supportive of all of these changes and the speed with which these mechanisms were brought to bear. As an industry, we were reassured by the timely and coordinated macroeconomic support brought forward.
One suggestion that we may offer for OSFI to consider, following the same thought process as the already implemented reduction in the domestic stability buffer, is to reduce the capital requirements for mortgage insurers. This would allow them to reduce their required premiums, making access to the IMPP and other programs easier for lenders and borrowers.
The Canada emergency response benefit and the innumerable suite of cash flow and credit support programs were tremendously supportive of many of our independent and smaller mortgage brokerages. Making CERB accessible to non-EI eligible income earners was greatly appreciated.